On October 25th, roughly 50 Chestermere Lake Middle School students took to the south end of Chestermere Lake to clean the shoreline of litter, garbage, plastic and foam, that has accumulated throughout the summer.
“We’re doing this for the grade eight science unit on fresh and saltwater ecosystems,” said Chestermere Lake Middle School Teacher Andrew Kunz.
“It ties into what we’ve been covering in class. Right now, they have a project of coming up with a proposal on how to clean the oceans,” he said.
“We found a lot of small plastic pieces and foam pieces,” said Chestermere Lake Middle Schooler Huda Al Aaridhy.
‘There are animals and species in the water, and if the animals eat the plastic they can die, and that will affect the lake,” she said.
Kunz is hoping that students will realize how much waste can collect near a small lake and how it breaks down.
“It’s mainly to give them an idea of how much plastic is around,” Kunz said.
Leading up to the shoreline clean-up, the grade eight students were extremely excited to get out and get involved.
“This is a good community service project for the kids,” Kunz said.
Although Chestermere Lake is small, there is still a plastic problem.
“I thought this would be a great way to show the kids that plastic is a problem even though we’re 1000 km/h from the nearest ocean,” Kunz said.
By having the shoreline clean-up Kunz is hopeful the community will be more mindful of plastic ending up near Chestermere Lake, and think twice before littering.
“I’d like to bring more awareness to Chestermere to keep track of garbage. Whatever happens to be on the streets or lawns when it rains gets washed into the stormwater drains, and then the stormwater drains empty into the lake,” Kunz said.
He added, “It’s not just people who are on the lake causing the problem.”
During the shoreline clean-up, students found small pieces of plastic, foam, bottle caps, cigarettes, and a variety of personal items, including lipstick containers, and toothbrushes.
“We’re trying to keep plastic out of our ecosystems,” Chestermere Lake Middle School Student Arjan Sohi said.
“We don’t want animals suffering from the consequences humans have created. We feel that this is necessary because we just want to keep it clean and let wildlife thrive,” he said.
Adding, it’s important that Chestermere residents sort waste into the appropriate waste collection bins, recycle and compost whenever possible, and don’t litter.
“Reduce, reuse, and recycle. It’s the little steps that make the big difference,” Sohi said.