2017 CCNL ECHO Projects
For a second season, Conservation Corps NL employed youth across the province through the Environmental and Cultural Hiring Opportunity (ECHO) Program. 2017 projects included oral history storytelling, smolt fence monitoring, river testing, and community beautification and enhancement.
Salmonid Association of Eastern Newfoundland ECHO Student
The Smolt Fence Technician Intern worked with the Salmonid Association of Eastern Newfoundland (SAEN) through the Conservation Corps Newfoundland and Labrador to assist in the assessment of reintroduction efforts of Atlantic Salmon in the Rennie’s, Virginia and Waterford river systems. The scope of the ECHO Student’s job duties included checking the smolt fences by Quidi Vidi lake multiple times daily, which consisted of walking out to the fence in waders, and physically collecting the fish from the fence. Upon collection, the ECHO Student performed data collection on site, taking the weight, measurements, and samples from the fish, as well as determining what kind of fish it was. Each data collection is followed up by inputting the physical data into a digital format for the SAEN office. While the primary focus of this position was to check the smolt fences, the ECHO Student was also encouraged to perform riverside cleanups in between fence checks. This position offered quite a lot of flexibility that allowed the ECHO Student to create their own side projects on site, as well as in the office. Lastly, the ECHO Student was responsible for submitting weekly reports to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans on their findings.
Quidi Vidi - Rennie's River Development Foundation ECHO Students
At the Fluvarium Summer Nature Camp, the main goal is to provide an enjoyable and educational camp program to children that inspires them to be more aware of environmental conservation. During each week, the ECHO students in this role were responsible for supervising and mentoring up to 12 campers and 2 junior counselors. Each week was planned and facilitated to maximize benefit to campers and ensure that meaningful and engaging activities were conducted to teach youth about environmental sustainability. Providing outdoor, active education in a safe and welcoming environment proved successful in helping participants to connect with nature and feel empowered to make a difference in the way they live their lives.
Town of Sunnyside ECHO Student
The town of Sunnyside needed assistance to improve their existing tools and create new resources for first and emergency responders to be able to easily access in case of an emergency. To achieve this goal, the ECHO student first created a magnetic Medical I.D. for residents of the town that can easily be accessed by the first and emergency responders on the resident’s fridge. Secondly, the ECHO student made an emergency map of the town, which the first and emergency responders can use to quickly identify where the emergency is located. With this plan, responders can get to where they are needed, and can correspond with the Emergency Household Plan Books that the town had previously started. The final project that the ECHO student was required to complete was an upgrade of the Emergency Household Plan Books. The student visited the uncompleted households and asked a series of question about each house, such as, number of windows/exits, how many occupants resided there (including animals), what type of heat source they had, etc. With access to these Plan Books, the first and emergency responders will be more equipped in an emergency.
Heritage Foundation NL ECHO Student
ECHO student Andrea McGuire spent the summer documenting the oral histories of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians through research and interviews. Working alongside Dale Jarvis of the Intangible Heritage Office, Andrea conducted interviews with Newfoundlanders on everything from folk cures to the Great Fire of 1892. She traveled to urban and rural communities throughout the Avalon region of the province in order to interview people about the historical and cultural practices that are specific to their family or community. Andrea digitally archived these interviews, and worked on communicating these important representations of our heritage by attending local events in various communities. Working with the Intangible Heritage Office, she also created and maintained a blog to document the many interviews and share the photos that she has uncovered through the research and conversations.
St. John's Native Friendship Centre ECHO Student
The St. John’s Native Friendship Centre ECHO student, Flora Chubbs, spent the summer working alongside the St. John’s Native Friendship Centre staff to establish a donate/trade what you can system for community members interested in having their own traditional medicines for use. Flora researched best practices in implementing this type of program, and how to use hydroponics in order to grow sacred Indigenous medicines. In addition to researching best practices related to developing this program, Flora conducted surveys and reached out to community members to understand the needs of the community in developing a trade and exchange system. She also developed a plan for how the program would be run and managed with volunteer oversight. Flora, in partnership with staff at the St. John’s Native Friendship Centre, set up a hydroponics system which will be maintained throughout the year and managed by staff and volunteers. Using the hydroponics system will meet the Centre’s goals of sustainably growing the medicines necessary for the donate/trade what you can system.
The Kelligrews Ecological Enhancement Program (KEEP) ECHO Student
The Kelligrews Ecological Enhancement Program (KEEP) ECHO student, Keisha Butler, spent the summer conducting river testing, doing beautification work around Kelligrews, working on event planning, and facilitating nature hikes for children. Keisha started off the summer by planning and seeking donations for the Kelligrews Railway Folk Festival. She contacted bands, requested donations, prepared the schedule, and promoted the event. Along with planning this exciting event, Keisha worked alongside KEEP to test the rivers that flow through Kelligrews in order to determine their stability for the re-introduction of salmon. Keisha created her own river survey form and tested various river sites around Kelligrews, while also conducting remediation work on the rivers. Furthermore, Keisha conducted beautification work on Pond Road, and other sites within Kelligrews, by planting flowers and ensuring the upkeep of green spaces. She also planned and facilitated nature hikes for children participating in CBS summer camps.
Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association ECHO Students
The ECHO program students in St. Alban’s spent the summer focusing on shoreline clean-ups in the Coast of Bay’s area. The students began their project by contacting the mayors of each community to see if there was an interest in a shoreline clean-up. The communities that proposed interest were then emailed a questionnaire about what they can contribute to the shoreline clean-ups such as food, water, gloves and clear bags. The team then went out to get a first look at how much debris was washed up on the shorelines. To their surprise they easily filled four full bags of debris in one hour, which included rope, glass bottles, shoes and a gas mask on Voyce Cove in St. Alban’s. Within a week, the team then went back to the same shoreline to see how much more debris was on the beach. Due to the wind, there was more debris washed up once again. The student were thrilled to have cleaned 8 shorelines in the Coast of Bays. In addition to shoreline clean-ups, the students also organized and held a fun-filled, educational aquaculture day with the Reading For Fun group in St. Alban’s for youth aged 4-10. This day included games involving salmon, cod and mussels and information on many marine species. Two presentations were made discussing healthy eating and marine debris. The students had a great time teaching and interacting with the youth.
Town of North West River
In Town of North West River, the ECHO student’s primary duty was to perform daily upkeep on the town. Duties included grass cutting, hedge trimming, as well as garbage pick-up. While working with the town, the student was responsible for a number of various activities that all correlate to beautification of the area, including maintenance of lawns, trail clearing, and cleaning up for any festivals held on town property. The Beach Festival is a big responsibility for the town as it is an annual summer event that draws a large crowd. The student worked with the town to ensure clean-up and set-up were properly completed for the event. In addition to the Beach Festival, the student also looked after two other parks throughout the summer: The Jenny Redford Park and the Sunday Hill Park. At these locations, the student was responsible for any grass cutting, hedge trimming as well as garbage collection to provide the best experience for visitors/tourists. Another large part of the program was the general maintenance of the town hall, as well as the tool shed. The student ensured that everything in these locations was in working order, and clean and safe for future use. Responsibilities at the tool shed include organizing tools, sweeping the shop, and painting garbage cans the colors of the Labrador flag. This painting helped support the community image, as every member of the community has their garbage can painted in the same way to represent the flag.
Bay St. George YMCA ECHO Students
At the Bay St. George YMCA Summer Day Camp Program in Stephenville, the ECHO Students worked with children between the ages of 5 to 12. The summer camp was held from July 3rd to August 25th, Monday to Friday and from 8:15am to 5:00pm. At the Summer Day Camp, the students ensure a variety of activities were completed throughout the summer that keep the children active and entertained. These activities included physical activities inside and outside, having guest presenters visit, making crafts, conducting field trips and theme days and weeks. Examples of the theme days hosted by the students were Hawaii Day, Space Day, CSI Week, Christmas in July and Game Show Week. The guest presenters were very educational for the children and were also fun because they have activities for them to do after the presentation. Some of the presenters were from Western Health, Search and Rescue, the RCMP summer students, a registered dietitian and more. Fields trips were also enjoyable for the children. Several examples of field trips held by the ECHO Students at the YMCA included visits to Blanche Brook Park, geocaching, and also bird watching with Stephenville residents who are very familiar with this activity.
Town of Wabush ECHO Student
The ECHO Student in the Town of Wabush focused on a number of community engagement and beautification activities. The ECHO student worked on community events, including the RCMP Musical Ride, Canada Day celebrations among municipal festivals and events. In addition, the student assisted with gardening, repair and maintenance activities throughout the community to enhance public spaces and walking trails for locals and tourists.