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Environmental students showcase their CityStudio project

Environmental studies students showcasing their ideas for solving some of Vancouver’s social and ecological challenges. Photo by Bonnie Lee La Madeleine

Reported by Bonnie Lee La Madeleine

Langara student Nicole Low wants the city to establish a salt marsh in False Creek to help purify the water in the area so boating and swimming become safer.

Low is a member of one of the five student teams in Langara’s environmental studies program who showcased ideas for solving some of Vancouver’s social and ecological challenges yesterday.

These students are part of environmental studies 2100, a collaborative program between Langara and CityStudio, a project school that demonstrates innovation and sustainability on the ground in municipalities and communities.

Langara instructor Andrew Egan oversees the students’ participation in the program.

“We develop projects that are associated with the Greenest City Action Plan or the Healthy City Strategy,” Egan said. CityStudio then matches the students up with a city staff member who mentors them through the final parts of the program.

The projects this year tackled illegal mattress dumping, sustainable gardening, container farming and technological solutions for charging electric cars, and biodiversity, which is Low’s team project.

“We got the idea by looking at other salt marshes in the area,” Low said. Her team also secured interest from local elementary schools as part of the project.

Chance to pitch at city hall

Three of the teams will get the chance to pitch their project this Friday at CityStudio where they will compete with teams from four other schools.

“Langara always does well at these events,” Jeanie Morton, the Campus Network Manager from CityStudio, said; she spent the afternoon watching and asking questions to help the teams improve their pitches for Friday.

“Two years ago Langara won and the city adopted the dog-waste solution,” Egan said. “Last year, a team project was used as evidence to support a bid to increase recycling options in parks.”

Several of the proposals pitched yesterday interested Morton.

“The fronds and salt water marsh development projects are interesting,” she said. “They are both projects that make the abstract issues more real and actionable for people in the communities.”

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