2017 Tim Walker Awards for Environmental Stewardship

Four schools are going green, thanks to the Tim Walker Award for Environmental Stewardship. The awards were established by the Board to honour the life of secondary school teacher Tim Walker, and his commitment to education and environmental initiatives.

Each year, schools are invited to submit their applications for green initiatives to receive funding. Up to $2000 is available each year.

An adjudication committee consisting of Trustee Ted Martin, Student Trustees Ryan Barnes and Husayn Jamal and Stephanie Walker, mother of the late Tim Walker, review applications and take the following criteria into consideration:

1. Staff and student involvement and environmental stewardship
2. Impact on student learning and foster learning and engaging students
3. Environmental benefits – shading, greening, waste reduction, recycling.

The 2017 recipients of the Tim Walker Awards are J.F. Carmichael PS, J.W. Gerth PS, Huron Heights Secondary School and Jacob Hespeler Secondary School.

Congratulations to all four recipients. Your efforts to keep your school green and environmentally friendly will have a lasting impact for years to come.

2017 Tim Walker Award Winners

Student Trustee Barnes, Chairperson McMillan, Director Bryant and Stephanie Walker pose with the 2017 Tim Walker Award recipients.

Project Synopsis

J.F. Carmichael Public School – Pollinator Garden Creation (Phase 2)

Pollinators are an essential part of our ecosystem. Taking action to support pollinator populations promotes a healthy, well-balanced ecosystem. Two years ago, Grade 6 students planted a pollinator garden, a circle covering an area of approximately 60 metres squared. It includes native perennial plants like Black-Eyed Susan, Columbine, Blue Rye Grass, Asters, Echinacea and Milkweed. These plants attract pollinators and support their populations. Funds from this grant will allow us to purchase more native plants to help increase their density and the garden quickly establish itself and win the battle against the weeds.

J.W. Gerth Public School – Stream of Dreams

Stream of Dreams is an eco-educational program, run in conjunction with the Grand River Conservation Authority, which teaches children about their local waterway, and the impact humans have on conserving and protecting our environment. The project started out west when a girl noticed some fish had been killed from a company dumping pollutants in the local waterway. She wanted to have children from all over the world, be more knowledgeable about their waterways and become stewards of the environment. In the local program, the students get the opportunity to participate in a program that explores their local community waterways, find out what happens when pollutants are poured down drains or sewers and discover where their local drinking water comes from. At the completion of the project, each student will have the opportunity to design and paint their own “dreamfish”, which represents their hopes for their future. These dreamfish will be mounted on the fence surrounding the school yard in an artistic mural that mimics the flow of wild salmon swimming. 

Huron Heights Secondary School – Food Forest

Our plan is to create a food forest, and in doing so, create a green space that supplements the nutritional and educational needs of students at Huron Heights Secondary School. A food forest is inexpensive and self-sustaining, so it will be easy to implement and maintain on a reasonable budget. Our Food Forest will provide food for the school (e.g., Nutrition for Learning, Life Skills/Dev Ed Class and Family Studies courses) and the greater community, provide a quiet place for mindfulness and reflection, improve the air quality of the area and provide students with additional greenery in the school space. 

Jacob Hespeler Secondary School – Canada 150 Celebration Tree Dedication

We plan on dedicating five trees that are native to Canada to each class of this 2017 year (grade 9’s, 10’s, 11’s, 12’s and staff). Each grade will vote on their maple of choice. Choices include Red Maple (Canada’s flag), Silver Maple, Sugar Maple, Big Leaf Maple, Douglas Maple, Black Maple, Striped Maple, Vine Maple, and Mountain Maple.

The trees will have a dedication plaque (through other funds) identifying the Canada 150 celebration, the “Tim Walker Memorial Fund”, the class dedication, the type of tree and unique features of the tree indicating its native status. They will add to our ongoing habitat naturalization projects at JHSS. Several native trees have been planted on the front east side of the school property along with native wildflower gardens to increase the biodiversity on our school property. At present, there is minimal tree cover (only four mature trees) at the back of the school, alongside the sports fields that we share with the City of Cambridge. Increasing tree cover globally is paramount in addressing and mitigating the impacts of climate change.