News Release: Eco YOLO Replants Saprae Creek with Tree Canada, RMWB and Chevrolet Canada
(FORT MCMURRAY, AB - June 12, 2017) An estimated 200 École McTavish Junior High School students gathered on June 8, 2017 to replant trees in Saprae Creek, which was hit hard by the wildfires last year. The group was led by Eco YOLO, the school’s environmental sustainability champions made up of eighth graders Krish Shah, Chintan Desai, and Rafui Mostafa. Thanks to the generosity of Chevrolet Canada, Tree Canada, and the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) the area will be 1650 trees richer this year.
“This is great, and surreal,” said Krish Shah, who inspired the idea for Eco YOLO last October.
“We were driving back after the evacuation, and seeing the burnt trees made me want to do something for our community. So Eco YOLO came about. Eco is for sustainability, and YOLO, which means “You Only Live Once,” is to appeal to the youth,” said Krish at the event.
“We want to thank the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, Tree Canada, and Chevrolet Canada, for their support to make the replanting happen,” Chintan and Rafi added.
Students planted saplings for Balsam Poplar, Tamarack, Larch, and a few Lodgepole Pine, all native species, and enjoyed the opportunity to contribute to the region’s recovery. The replanting project will be ongoing through next year at École McTavish.
“Tree Canada is so very proud to be able to help the people of Fort McMurray and its students with its partners through our #OperationReLeaf program,” said Mike Rosen, President of the Ottawa-based Tree Canada.
“The fires of 2016 have served to teach us all a number of lessons about our planet – thank you students, teachers and parents for helping repair the damage by restoring the ecosystem with the planting of trees,” Rosen added.
Stephen Fudge, FireSmart Specialist, Recovery Task Force, RMWB was on hand for the replanting. He appreciated Eco YOLO’s efforts.
“The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo is very proud to support Eco YOLO’s planting event in Saprae Creek. It is inspiring to see such passion and dedication to the environment and re-greening of our region in such a young group. We wish them much success in their future endeavours.”
“Chevrolet Canada is very proud and honoured to present EcoYOLO with a Gift of Play donation of $10,000 to fund equipment, transportation and help sustain their initiative through 2017,” said, James Hodge, Advertising Manager at Chevrolet Canada.
Linda Mywaart, Vice Chair, FMPSD Board of Trustees congratulated Eco YOLO and thanked all the sponsors.
“Fort McMurray Public School District is proud to be a green district. It’s not a seasonal thought - it’s a priority that remains front and centre all year for us. Krish, Chintan, Rafiu - on behalf of the Board of Trustees, it’s an honour to congratulate you on your many achievements that have culminated into today. Your focus on environmental sustainability inspired by the wildfires speaks highly to us. It means our youth have a vested interest in the rebuilding of our community, it means our youth know how to give back to the community, but above all it means our youth want to take care of this planet. It is something we adults - don’t take for granted.”
“We can’t thank everyone enough for their generosity in making today happen,” enthused Robynn Moody, Eco YOLO advisor, and Science teacher at École McTavish Junior High School.
“FMPSD, RMWB, Chevrolet Canada, Tree Canada, Intact Insurance, and Caring for Our Watersheds Program - Agrium were critical in the success of Eco YOLO. The team of supporters and sponsors is a prime example of the importance of forming youth-adult partnerships in community development, specifically the rebuilding process after the fire,” said Moody.
Eco YOLO has received provincial media coverage for their environmental efforts; and recently won second place in the “Caring for Our Watersheds,” competition for grades 7-12 students from all of central and northern Alberta. They have also presented their ideas to Minister of Education, David Eggen at an Earth Day event in Edmonton.
Event album can be found here.
For more information, please contact:
Fort McMurray Public School District