Working Together with BARC
BY Bay Area Restoration Council
ON August 7, 2019
Hi! My name is Jacqui Vinden and I wanted to share with you my experience as the Bay Area Restoration Council’s (BARC) spring intern. I am going into my third year at McMaster University in Biology and Environmental Science. In my second year, one of my professors gave a lecture on Hamilton Harbour and mentioned BARC as a major contributor to its improvement. Based on that lecture, I decided to apply to BARC for their 8-week internship.
During my weeks as an intern, I went to elementary schools across the Hamilton Harbour sewer shed, running educational programs to students in grades 1-8. The programs started with an interactive presentation and then finished with a hands-on activity to further develop the students understanding of the topics. Topics included water treatment and pollution for the older grades and the native species of turtles and insects for the younger grades.
As side from running programs, I also assisted BARC in a vareity of community outreach events .At the Hamilton Children’s Water Festival, which aims to increase children’s knowledge of the importance of water, I assisted BARC in the raingarden relay station and developed and delivered a new trolley tour. At the 100 in 1 day, I ran a booth where
people from the community could paint wooden fish for a public mural that is a reminder of the life that lives in the harbour and how important it is to keep the water clean.
Painting fish is a lot of fun! With the knowledge I gained from these events, I was able to plan and run my own community outreach event.
My community outreach event was a turtle talk
hosted by the wonderful Mary at the Pale Blue Dot in Hamilton.
It was a free community outreach event that aimed to inform the community on the species of turtles, the threats they face and what can be done to help them.
I started the talk by giving an overview of turtles: what they eat, where they live and the adaptations they have. Gabby, the guest speaker I found who is an intern from the Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) then followed with a more in depth talk about the threats turtle face and the work she is doing at the RBG to protect the turtles.
I have learned so much while working at BARC,
not just about Hamilton Harbour, but about myself.
Through the numerous presentations I have vastly improved my presentation skills. I know my filler words and how to bring the conversations back to the topic on hand.
I also learned how to organize and run an effective public outreach event., like how many emails it really takes. I have learned all about
pollution, what is being done to delist Hamilton Harbour as an area of concern, and about the various animals that live in Cootes Paradise, ave also deepened my appreciation and knowledge for Hamilton Harbour . I learned about the issues that are facing Hamilton Harbour, like runoff and
BARC also gave me an wonderful learning opportunity and the change to explore a possible career option.
I would like to thank BARC for giving me this opportunity and am so grateful I was able to work with such kind and knowledge people that taught me so much. I strongly recommend finding time to attend or volunteer at one of the various outreach events that BARC puts on! I know I will be in the future!
Spring Education Intern
Jacqui's position was supported by United Nations Association In Canada's Green Spaces Grant. We thank them for their generosity and support.