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Sustainability: Student Awards and Leadership

A number of students have recently been recognized for their leadership in sustainability. Supporting the environment and furthering connection to the outdoors are actively supported across the District, as we work to empower children and youth to be the leaders of today and tomorrow in sustainability.

National Recognition of Student Work

A Burnaby Mountain Secondary student has been named a Top 25 Environmentalist Under 25 in Canada. Caio Krause Conradt received the honour from a non-profit organization called The Starfish Canada, which works to amplify the voices of young environmental leaders. Caio is president of his school’s Earthwise Club. He also facilitates cooking classes and garden clubs for elementary students – opportunities that are part of the District’s partnership with Sprouting Chefs. Caio is the Youth Committee Head.

Former Moscrop Secondary student Mireta Strandberg-Salmon was also named a Top 25 Environmentalist Under 25 by the non-profit agency. She was only 15 when she initiated the banning of single-use plastic water bottles in the vending machines at Moscrop. She went on to pursue a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies at Simon Fraser University. She led another Ban the Bottle initiative there, resulting in the removal of single-use plastic water bottles at all three SFU campuses.
Read the story in the Burnaby Now: Burnaby woman earns place among top young environmentalists

Student-led Initiatives

A Grade 11 student at Burnaby South Secondary credits inspiration for her own campaign to Mireta Strandberg-Salmon’s efforts as a student at Moscrop. Ziya Merchant went on to lead a multi-school environmental campaign after working together with her school’s social justice club to eliminate the use of plastic bottles. The Phase Out Plastic Bottles initiative has now been implemented in secondary schools across the Lower Mainland and in the United States.
Read the story in the Burnaby Now: Burnaby student leads multi-school environmental campaign

There are several examples of grassroots work led by students throughout the District, such as at Byrne Creek Community School where youth held a clothing drive to keep textiles out of the landfill. The initiative is among many ongoing efforts to promote and contribute to sustainability. 

Building Connection to the Environment

Schools continue to support environmental awareness through connection to the outdoors. For example, at Stoney Creek Community School, place-based learning took a group of young students and their teacher to a nearby forest.

Students at Brentwood Park Elementary recently set out on a tree inquiry. They were delighted to shift their investigations when they discovered an abandoned bird’s nest on the ground. As a class, they explored questions about what might have happened – cultivating curiosity and learning together.

Learn more about efforts to support the environment and read the District’s Sustainability Strategic Plan here.

Posted February 2023