Interlake students top-10 in watershed contest

Katelyn LaCombe (left), Hannah Friesen (centre) and Jenn Fossay of Warren Collegiate Institute show off their prize cheques for placing top-10 in the provincial Caring For Our Watersheds contest at Oak Hammock Marsh Interpretive Centre near Stonewall, Man. on April 13, 2019. (Adam Peleshaty/The Stonewall Argus and Teulon Times)

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Four projects from the Interlake, three from Warren Collegiate Institute and one from Lord Selkirk Comprehensive Secondary School, placed top-10 in the provincial Caring For Our Watersheds contest at Oak Hammock Marsh Interpretive Centre on April 13.

From 22 schools, 329 projects from 476 students were submitted for the contest, which is run by Canadian fertilizer company Nutrien. Students were asked the question, “What can you do to improve your watershed?” and must create a project with regards to their own watershed, identifying an environmental concern and creating a realistic solution. Judges then choose 10 finalists to give an oral presentation with the first-place finisher receiving $1,000 towards the project and another $1,000 for the winner’s school.

Jenn Fossay of WCI placed third for her project, “Brushing Away The (Plaque)stics,” raising awareness of the pollution created by discarded toothbrushes. Her project is to create a children’s book about the problem, while also giving away biodegradable toothbrushes made of bamboo. She received $800 for her project and her school.

Sarah Cadotte from The Comp in Selkirk finished fourth for her project “Removing The Stains that Microplastics Create,” which would install Filtriol 160 filters in the school’s laundry machines to keep microplastics out of waste water. She and the school received $700 each.

In fifth place was Hannah Friesen, also from Warren, and her project, “It’s Bloody Brilliant!” She is trying to convince the school to offer biodegradable cardboard tampon applicators. Friesen said during her presentation that the school has already signed a contract to purchase and offer the product in the women’s washrooms. The project and WCI will both receive $600.

Warren’s Katelyn LaCombe and her project, “Phones: We All Have One!” garnered ninth place. Her project is promoting the use of eco-friendly reusable snack bags and biodegradable cell phone cases. The project and the school both won $200.

First place went to a team of students from Pilot Mound Collegiate Institute and their efforts to create rain gardens to filter water runoff.