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LVR Green Team Earth Day Event 2023

On Sunday, April 23, the LVR High School Green Team along with support from members of the West Kootenay Climate Hub held an Earth Day event at the Nelson Innovation Centre from 2:00 - 4:00 pm.

Earth Day is recognized as the largest secular observance in the world, marked by more than a billion people every year as a day of action to change human behaviour and create global, national and local policy changes. As the awareness of our climate crisis grows, so does civil society mobilization which is reaching a fervour across the globe today.

This Earth Day event was very well attended as parents, school principals, and friends came to support the LVR Green Team.

Nicole Charlwood was on hand to welcome the students and encourage them to continue their involvement in climate action. As a mother of high school students Nicole commended the students on their vital involvement with environmental and climate change issues.

Sierra Burjaw, leader of the LVR Green Team, then provided the audience with an update of the Green Team’s activities and some of the issues that they have been dealing with in the past year at LVR - in particular the solar panels installed on the roof of the high school, the current recycling program and the need to install bike racks that are sized to fit electric bikes.

Four speakers were invited to present at the LVR Earth Day event and each speaker provided very informative and inspiring messages to the LVR students.

First to speak was Melissa Lavery of Wildsight/Youth Climate Corps. Melanie's talk centred on the creation and many variations of work undertaken by the Youth Climate Corps that gave the students an idea of the options available to them if they follow their environmental interests and are seeking meaningful work experience.

The second speaker was Scott Spencer, the General Manager of Nelson Hydro. Scott provided a great overview of the basic knowledge required to understand our energy system locally and in BC/Western North America. Scott presented a very interesting history of Nelson Hydro and how it has evolved over the years to be a very important source of energy in BC that is powered by renewable energy only. Electrical generating plants in BC are largely powered by hydro, not by fossil fuels (coal, oil, gas) as they are in other provinces.

The third speaker was Judith Fearing of Doctors and Nurses For Planetary Health. She spoke about the serious affects that climate change has on our youth and seniors and the importance of the physical and mental health advocacy that her group is focused on. Judith provided some effective graphics to reinforce her presentation about the importance of climate action for the health of people, the planet and all living things.

The last speaker of the day was Waya Aeon who is a youth climate activist in the Nelson area. Waya reinforced Judith Fearing's mental health advocacy as he related his struggles and past experiences to the students in attendance. He spoke about the importance of taking self-care seriously when taking on the incredible challenge of working for change in the field of climate work.

Musician and climate activist, Avery Florence, also welcomed the students with inspiring words and performed her song, Wake Up.

Dan Rude, the new principal at LVR, was in attendance. He had arranged, with the support of SD8 Operations & Transportation, to have one of the two new SD8 electric school buses to be parked outside the Nelson Innovation Centre for everyone to look at and admire. This electric bus provided the perfect backdrop for the LVR student group photo during the break.

Co-organizers Terry Lund and David Beringer were happy to report that the LVR Earth Day event was a great success with a lot of positive feedback received from all in attendance. They would like to thank all those who helped to make this event a success: Michael Vecchio for looking after the technology needed for each presentation; Trish Johnston for baking all the cookies and muffins; Suzanne Simone and Judith Fearing for registrations; Lauren Bergman and Melanie Fontaine of KAST for providing the venue. Terry and David would also like to thank all of the local businesses who very generously donated some great draw prizes for the students!

And a special thank you to all of the family and friends who came to support the LVR Green Team!