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Bridging Environments is a community outreach program which connects current SFU Environment students with local high school Environment/Green clubs and tasks them with completing a project based on a central theme. The aim is to provide knowledge-based mentorship that empowers students to implement projects that support sustainability in a variety of ways. This is a great opportunity for high school students to make connections with university students studying the environment, and to carry out an impactful project.
Throughout the duration of the program (October to April) everyone involved is also invited to attend facilitated educational workshops relating to the program’s central theme. Past workshops have featured speakers from Ban the Bottle SFU, SFU Divestment Hunger Strike, as well as a Screening of the Documentary “What about our Future?”.
Bridging Environments is proud to have been nominated for a SFU Faculty of Environment Changemaker Award, you can learn more about the award here, and read the nomination here.
If you would like your club to participate in the program, please email Chloe for more information!
THOMAS HANEY SECONDARY, MAPLE RIDGE
Thomas Haney’s Eco Action Club worked on an awareness campaign by facilitating and promoting activities at their school such as a walk with nature, spring cleaning, and gardening. They also contacted the company that processes the recycling for their school and requested a waste audit – once they receive the data, they plan on spreading awareness to their school community about where their waste goes.
KILLARNEY SECONDARY, VANCOUVER
Killarney’s Environment Club was concerned about the incorrect disposal of the popular ramen noodle bowls sold at their school store, so they researched replacements as well as disposal options, and began campaigning to raise awareness about how to properly dispose of the bowls. They also worked on designing an environmentally themed mural to be painted at their school.
During Earth Week, the club members organized and promoted a session, presented by SFU Faculty of Environment students, which focused on how to get involved in environmental action inside and outside of university.
FRASER HEIGHTS SECONDARY, SURREY
Fraser Heights’ Environment Club worked on executing a school-wide event to promote recycling as well as celebrate Earth Day. The club was inspired by a recycling program already in place at their school where empty tissue boxes are used to collect used markers for proper recycling.
To promote the existing recycling program, the Environment Club ran a Tissue Box Decorating Competition where participants would decorate an empty tissue box with materials of their choice. The club encouraged participants to think about and display the environmental impact of the materials they used in their final piece. The club then chose a winner which received some ethical SFU Environment SWAG as a prize. The club also ran a DIY bird feeder activity where students learned how to create their own bird feeder to bring home.
The Environment Club along with mentors Theresa, Irina, and Natasha created a short video discussing recycling from a university student’s perspective which they plan to show to other Fraser Heights students. The video can be viewed here.
BURNABY SOUTH SECONDARY, BURNABY
Inspired by the first workshop’s Keynote Speaker from Ban the Bottle, Burnaby South’s Green Team decided to work towards banning the use of plastic water bottles in their school. They began by attending a SFU Ban the Bottle meeting to learn more about the SFU club’s experience in successfully banning all plastic water bottles from SFU campuses.
With guidance from their mentors Jamie, Omar, and Erin, the club met with school administration to propose their idea and emphasize its importance. After these meetings, and due to delays from the covid-19 pandemic, the club shifted their timeline and focused this year’s efforts on building awareness within their school community so that they would have more support when taking further steps the following year. They planned a social media campaign, as well as newsletter blurbs to get the word out about the importance of no longer using single use plastic water bottles. The Green Team and Mentors hope to continue their ambitious yet important project next year and already have brainstormed plans to do so.
“Thank you so much for your dedication mentoring [our club]. You’ve made a huge difference within our school environmental initiatives!”
- Teacher/Club Sponsor
“I am so grateful that our club was able to participate in this program! The students were inspired to know that there are post-secondary opportunities and jobs in the field that they are passionate about. The students expressed how ‘cool’ it was to see young people involved in environmental sciences and they felt that it was a field of study that they could pursue as well. The mentors were good listeners and provided great resources for us to explore. I think programs like this are invaluable in ensuring that education about environmental issues are happening at all levels of education.”
- Teacher/Club Sponsor
We applaud R.E. Mountain Secondary, Killarney Secondary, and Burnaby Mountain Secondary, along with their Mentors Gabrielle, Odessa, Flora, Helen, Kiana, and Bradley for launching these inspirational projects.
R.E. MOUNTAIN SECONDARY, LANGLEY
R.E. Mountain students are a highly organized group, and ambitiously revived their school’s aquaponics system, which uses fish feces to fertilize plants for cultivation. Over the last several months, they researched how to build the system, get it operating, secure funding, and create educational material for their school community. The system will be operational in the fall. Students found this program valuable to learn more about environmental action and provided a glimpse of how to get involved when they go to university.
“Having the experience to work alongside Mentors who are more knowledgeable about topics we are passionate about is really nice”, one R.E. Mountain student says.
We are impressed by this dedicated group of students, along with their SFU Mentors Gabrielle and Odessa.
Killarney Secondary, Vancouver
Killarney’s Environment Club decided to bring awareness to the excessive items we own. They ran a donation drive with two other clubs at their school, Keyclub and Female Empowerment, resulting in 300 items being donated to the MCC Thrift Store! The students running this drive say they learned about project planning and effective communication. They got to see the benefits of zero-waste thinking in action. Kudos to them, and their awesome SFU Mentors Flora and Helen.
Burnaby Mountain Secondary, Burnaby
Our neighbours down the hill approached their project through the lens of climate justice. The Earthwise Club created a 30-minute recorded webinar to educate the community on the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project. They presented facts, concerns, and the significance of the pipeline for the environment and local Indigenous peoples. Amazing work Earthwise team, and their SFU Mentors Kiana and Bradley!
“Taking on this initiative with a group in which each person shares the common passion for saving our planet was overall a very enlightening and fun journey” says the club leader.
meet the team
CHLOE (she/her), Program Coordinator
Program: Environmental Science major with a concentration in Environmental Earth Systems; Philosophy minor
Why I joined the team: I am passionate about climate change and am eager to educate and empower others about making a positive impact on the environment!
Fun fact: I took violin lessons for 10 years.
TIM (HE/HIM), Mentor
Program: Environmental Science major with a concentration in Applied Biology; GIS certificate
Why I Joined: I've always been passionate about collaboration, and about tackling environmental issues, so this is a great way to work as a team and do just that!
Fun fact: I'm 1/4 Asian and my mom grew up in Singapore, so I have a lot of family there!
IRINA (she/they), Mentor
Program: Global Environmental Systems (GES) major
Why I joined the team: I joined the team since I have previously worked as an exec for the Rotary Interact Club and wanted to continue helping people out. I have a strong passion for being and learning about the outdoors as well as the animals that occupy these spaces, and I hope to pass that passion onto others that I mentor.
Fun fact: I am originally from Siberia, having immigrated to Canada in 2013 but no one ever believes me because I have no accent, according to most.
Program: Environmental Science major with a concentration in Water Science
Why I joined the team: Participating in mentor-mentee programs in high school inspired me to want to do the same and teach others.
Fun fact: I have a wiener dog named Bean.
Program: Environmental Science major with a concentration in Water Science
Why I joined the team: I want to promote environmental behaviour to younger generations, especially in preserving and redistributing freshwater.
Fun fact: I learned to play piano through YouTube.
DAPHNE (SHE/HER), MENTOR
Program: Resource and Environmental Management Major
Why I joined the team: I want to help inspire other students to take initiative in helping the environment. I wish I had been involved in a program like bridging environments when I was in high school.
Fun fact: I am an avid backpacker, and my goal is to hike every trail in Garibaldi provincial park.
SPIRIT (HE/HIM), MENOTR
Program: Global Environmental Systems Major
Why I joined the team: I enjoy helping others learn more about our environment from what it provides us with, how it works, to how we can manage it better.
Fun fact: I love playing sports such as soccer, basketball and ultimate frisbee.