Our Mission is simple. CPAWS wants to safeguard, connect, and expand parks and wilderness through education, engagement, and collaboration with Albertans. There are, however, many obstacles that can prevent or hinder the ability of Canadians to enjoy the simple pleasures of experiencing our natural environment. Climate change, logging, over-recreation, mining, litter, etc., are just a few of these obstacles.
However, we do not find solutions by only focusing on problems. So to meet our mission, CPAWS Southern Alberta aims to connect Canadians with nature by hosting an annual contest to inspire youth to take action for the environment. The Action Challenge.
Here is how it works. Individuals, groups, classes, or schools can choose one (or more) of these five vehicles to solve a problem of their choosing: Educate, Fundraise, Advocate, Change Lifestyle, and/or Eco-Manage. These children and youth are empowered through their ability to enact change by planning, executing, and reflecting on a project of their choosing which addresses the needs of a local environmental issue.
Change starts with us; with you and me.
Change started with Hillhurst School, whose grade three & four class reduced their schools water consumption by planning and creating their own aquaponics system and constructed bat boxes to help the locally declining bat population. Change started with William Roper Hull’s school, who planned, built, and operated a passive solar panel greenhouse, with plans to expand it to a community initiative in the 2018-2019 school year. Change started with Peter Lougheed School, whose grade eight class created a obstacle course which taught classmates about how to prevent wildfires in Alberta, 50% of which are human caused.
These project were recent recipients of the: Hazel Gillespie Water Rangers, Awesome Action, and Gareth Thompson Awards. They provide a snapshot of the many projects youth, with the help of CPAWS, are executing to facilitate change in their communities and building a life that emphasizes the importance of personal actions. Because it is individual citizen actions that help move us toward a healthy, sustainable planet, so that all Canadians in this generation and those to come can enjoy our natural world.