BARC & SPECIAL GUESTS

BARC Blog

Using the Hamilton Harbour as an Outdoor Classroom
BY Chris Wilson
ON May 20, 2014
Hamilton Water, a division of The City of Hamilton will be holding their 7th Annual Hamilton Children’s Water Festival at the end of May. The Hamilton Children’s Water Festival is a three-day educational, hands-on, out of school opportunity to educate students about the importance of water conservation, protection, awareness, respect, science, technology, history and health. The City of Hamilton has partnered with specialists, members of industry, government and educators to provide students with the opportunity to learn directly from local professionals through their unique water and environmental demonstrations, discussions, displays and exhibits.

Hamilton Water, a division of The City of Hamilton will be holding their 7th Annual Hamilton Children’s Water Festival at the end of May. The Hamilton Children’s Water Festival is a three-day educational, hands-on, out of school opportunity to educate students about the importance of water conservation, protection, awareness, respect, science, technology, history and health. The City of Hamilton has partnered with specialists, members of industry, government and educators to provide students with the opportunity to learn directly from local professionals through their unique water and environmental demonstrations, discussions, displays and exhibits.

It takes a lot of organization and teamwork to put on an event like this. There are over 3000 grade 4 students and teachers registered for the event. We have over 20 partners that volunteer their time and expertise to lead the 30 interactive activities and 8 generous sponsors that assist the festival financially. There are also countless City volunteers and over 240 high school students that volunteer their time to help with the festival. It really has become a community event, bringing everyone together to educate and empower the grade 4 students.

As one of our community partners, the Bay Area Restoration Council will be running an activity entitled “Why Can’t We Swim”. This activity demonstrates that feeding geese in public areas like beaches causes high bacteria levels, resulting in closed beaches. Students learn that geese fecal matter has a high level of E. coli bacteria. They will learn what E. coli is, and how it affects our health. Students will also understand what they need to do to keep the beaches open in the summer. It is a great opportunity for the students to see that what they do can have a large impact on the health of Hamilton Harbour.

This is one of the 30 activities that the students have the chance to experience at the Hamilton Children’s Water Festival. It is important to show the students the impact that they have on their environment and how changes in their behaviour can have a positive influence. These students are going to be the future decision makers and we want to ensure that they have the knowledge to make the right decisions, especially when it comes to our water and the future of Hamilton Harbour.

The event takes place at Pier 4 Park, which makes an excellent venue for the event with the Hamilton Harbour as the backdrop. It allows the students to see first-hand how important water is and why we need to take care of this precious resource.

The ultimate goal of the Hamilton Children’s Water Festival is to foster decision-makers, initiate the process of behavioural change, to empower children to initiate that change within their homes, schools and communities. We want to encourage the students to become catalysts for change by taking information and new found respect back to their own environment.

The Hamilton Children’s Water Festival will run the last week of May with over 3000 grade 4 Hamilton students registered for this event. There will also be 240 high school students and more than 300 total volunteers in attendance. Please note that this Festival is by registration only and is not open to the public. For more information please visit the festival website at www.hamilton.ca/childrenswaterfestival or contact Chris Wilson at Chris.Wilson@hamilton.ca.


Author Bio - Chris Wilson
Chris Wilson is a Project Manager within the Customer Service and Community Outreach section for Hamilton Water, a division of The City of Hamilton. He has coordinated the Hamilton Children’s Water Festival for the last 3 years and develops other programing to educate Hamilton’s youth on water issues.
Chris Wilson is a Project Manager within the Customer Service and Community Outreach section for Hamilton Water, a division of The City of Hamilton. He has coordinated the Hamilton Children’s Water Festival for the last 3 years and develops other programing to educate Hamilton’s youth on water issues.

Share your Comments!