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Dream of a Living Stream
BY Suzanne Denomme-McGreal
ON June 29, 2014

I can't imagine anything more important than air, water, soil, energy and biodiversity. These are the things that keep us alive.” ~ David Suzuki

On June 13th, after months of planning, cutting, sanding, priming and anticipation, Huntington Park School joyously unveiled our very own “Dream of a Living Stream”. Staff, students, parents, volunteers and the surrounding community enjoyed the final step of our involvement in the “Stream of DreamsTM” program; the installation of our vibrant, collective art project! Created by our students and facilitated by the amazing BARC team, our mural will remain a permanent reminder of our commitment to the environment and our local watershed.

 
 

The “Stream of DreamsTM” program itself was created in Burnaby, British Columbia. In 1998, toxic material was dumped into a storm drain, killing everything in Byrne Creek, including 5,000 fish. Buildings in the area were eventually demolished and a chain link fence installed around the rubble. Inspired by a similar wooden fence mural in the area, and driven by a desire to bring attention to the Byrne Creek watershed, long-time residents decided to symbolically “bring those fish back to life”. 5,000 wooden fish would be painted by local children and placed on the fence. Signs on the fence explained the initiative;

"Thanks to “Beautiful Dreamers” and artful planners, our community has discovered its living stream. Each fish is a testimony of hope. From cutting and sanding, to priming and creative painting, all steps of the fish creation process are our community's commitment to its local creek. We invite you to walk along the fence, find your favorite fish and share the “Dream of a Living Stream."

It was for this reason we chose to initiate this project at Huntington Park. Our wish was to educate our students about Hamilton Harbour and its watershed and empower them to do their part to protect our local creeks, streams and rivers.

BARC staff delivered the eco-education component over three days to every classroom (JK-8). Students then visited the art room to paint their very own dream fish. On the final day, with the help of many eager volunteers (and the creative talents of our fine facilitators) we twisted and tightened and watched our dream come to life!

 
 

Our students were absolutely thrilled! Armed with new knowledge about water, the importance of doing our part to keep it clean and what does NOT go down a storm drain, they were in awe of their accomplishment. Finding their fish on the fence proved to be just as much (if not more) fun than painting it! 

 
 

Change is never easy, and it often creates discord, but when people come together for the good of humanity and the Earth, we can accomplish great things.” ~ David Suzuki


Author Bio - Suzanne Denomme-McGreal
Suzanne Denomme-McGreal is an active Huntington Park volunteer and School Council Member. A proud Mom of 5 “water wise” boys, she is pleased to report they are more than happy to take 3 minute showers and never flush unnecessarily.
Suzanne Denomme-McGreal is an active Huntington Park volunteer and School Council Member. A proud Mom of 5 “water wise” boys, she is pleased to report they are more than happy to take 3 minute showers and never flush unnecessarily.

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