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Nanaimo students earn Green Games project grants

Students at two Nanaimo secondary schools earned provincial recognition this week for their green initiatives.

Dover Bay and Wellington secondary schools each won a $1,000 grant in Science World’s fifth annual B.C. Green Games contest, which rewards environmental success stories.

More than 4,500 votes were cast by students, teachers, parents and other community members this year and 20 elementary and secondary schools were awarded $1,000 grants to continue or begin environmental initiatives.

Dover won with a video and write-

up of work the school’s environmental club has done at Pioneer Park to contribute to the health of the forest, such as tree thinning and invasive species removal.

Gordon Graham, teacher sponsor of the Dover Bay Eco Club, said the group might put the money toward one of the initiatives the club is looking into – students hope to set up a community garden at the front of the school and another idea is to install water bottle filling stations at the school.

The green wall aquaponics project at Wellington also earned a grant.

Aquaponics is a sustainable food production system that combines growing fish with growing vegetables. The aquaponics system uses less energy and water than growing plants the traditional way and the fish waste feeds the plants.

The green wall acts as a natural insulator, cutting heating and cooling costs, and uses space more efficiently by growing vertically instead of horizontally. The Wellington project consists of a wall of plants connected to three fish tanks, but teacher John Mandziuk said students want to have four walls of plants up in the school’s inner courtyard by mid-May.

Earlier this year, the school received a $2,700 grant from the World Wildlife Federation to help fund the project. All 132 projects entered in the B.C. Green Games this year, as well as more than 500 past projects, can be viewed at www.bcgreengames.ca.

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