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Student contest promotes watershed stewardship

The winners receive cash prizes as well as money to implement their ideas for improving watersheds

STAFF / Agrium and the Oak Hammock Marsh Interpretive Centre have teamed up to offer the Caring for our Watersheds competition for high school students in Manitoba.

Geared for Grade 7 to 12 students, individuals interested in the environment can submit their ideas to the Caring for our Watersheds program for a chance to win $1,000 for themselves and $1,000 for their school. More than $15,000 in cash awards are up for grabs plus an additional $10,000 in funding is also available to help implement the contest ideas, the organizations say in a release.

The international competition has been offered in Manitoba since 2010.

Last year, Jayden Dobson and Daria Hildebrand from Thomas Greenway Middle School proposed a project focused on partnership and education. Their proposal was to create simple but effective signs identifying locations that are key drinking water areas while educating citizens about protecting our essential resources. With the help of the community, the students were able to make their idea happen. Other participating communities have included Winnipeg, Gimli, Virden, Manitou and Selkirk.

“Through the years students have provided viable answers to the question — What can you do to improve your watershed?” said Lindsey Metheral, Agrium program adviser. “It is apparent how much future generations care about watersheds, their world and their place in it.”

“The creativity this contest affords students is beneficial for our environment and the communities we serve,” said Nathalie Bays, OHMIC. “Any time we can engage and involve our younger generation in environmental conversation benefits us all. They are actively seeking ways to make our communities sustainable for future generations and we are here to help them.”

The entry deadline for students living in the province of Manitoba is March 8, 2013. The top 10 finalists will be judged by the community and the winners will be announced on April 20, 2013.

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