Beginning in the fall of 2017, School District 91 (SD91) in partnership with the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) established a student-based monitoring program of local stream health. The pilot program, called the Small Streams Living Laboratory (SSLLP), engages high-school students to collect data using scientific protocols designed by the Pacific Streamkeepers Federation (PSF). Monitoring assesses physical, chemical and biological indicators of stream health in order to answer questions about future restoration initiatives. Meanwhile, researchers at UNBC have developed the Nechako Watershed Portal, an online, map-based database that aims to be a tool providing user groups with an easy way to archive geo-referenced information pertaining to their watershed interests, including community-based monitoring data. This fall students from multiple school groups in SD91 will collect data and trial entering their results into their version of The Portal. As this year is one of the preliminary iterations of the SSLLP, documentation of the process is instrumental to understanding the impacts of the program on students and their community, and areas for program improvement in the future, including the usability of The Portal.
For my community action project my plan is to organize a short film, in collaboration with students from SD91 to showcase their stream-monitoring program and its impact on students, their community and their environment. The story mapping, filming and editing of the film will be directed by a small group of grade 12 students who choose to be involved in this project. The film will contain footage of students conducting stream-monitoring tests, entering data into the geospatial database designed by UNBC, presenting their findings to City Council and interviews with students, teachers and members from the local conservation society (Nechako Environment and Water Stewardship Society). Depending on time restrictions, there is also the possibility including a brief historical description of the Nechako Rivershed or the stream being studied, Murray Creek.