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 works with SAEN through the Conservation Corps of 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 intern’s job duties includes checking the smolt fences by Quidi Vidi lake multiple times daily, which consists of walking out to the fence in waders, and physically collecting the fish from the fence. Upon collection, the intern performs data collection on site, taking the weight, measurements, and samples from the fish, as well as determining what kind of fish it is. 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 is to check the smolt fences, the intern is also encouraged to perform riverside cleanups in between fence checks. This position offers quite a lot of flexibility that allows interns to create their own side projects on site, as well as in the office. Lastly, the intern is responsible for submitting weekly reports to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans on their findings. This position offers relevant work experience for university students who have a passion for ecology and conservation, and open the door to future possibilities in this field of work and study.

Quidi Vidi - Rennie's River Development Foundation ECHO Students

At the Fluvarium Summer Nature Camp, our 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, we are responsible for supervising and mentoring up to 12 campers and 2 junior counselors. Each week is planned and facilitated to maximize benefit to campers and ensure that meaningful and engaging activities are conducted to teach youth about environmental sustainability. Providing outdoor, active education in a safe and welcoming environment has proven 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 help to improve their tools they already had and create new ones that first and emergency responders can easily access and use for the betterment of the town in case of an emergency. The first thing that the ECHO student had to do was create 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 so they can be able to obtain all important information that they need to do their jobs more quickly and efficiently. Secondly the ECHO student made an emergency map of the town the first and emergency responders can use to quickly identify where the emergency is located, they can get to where they are needed, and can correspond with the Emergency Household Plan Books that the town has previously started. These provide other important information they should know about the house/building they are entering. The final project that the ECHO student was required to complete and upgrade was the Emergency Household Plan Books. The student went around to 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. By doing so in the, the first and emergency responders will be able to have no surprises upon entering the home, and will be more equipped in an emergency. With these new and updated tools our first/emergency responders and residents will all be bettered in case of an emergency.

Heritage Foundation NL ECHO Student

ECHO student, Andrea McGuire spent this 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 this 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 their 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, was busy this summer conducting river testing, doing beautification work around Kelligrews, working on event planning, and facilitating nature hikes for children. Keisha started off the summer seeking donations, and planning 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 have been focusing on shoreline clean ups in the Coast of Bay’s Area. The team first started off with 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 sheet to inform us on 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 got 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 team was very excited to clean up 8 shorelines in the Coast of Bays and looks forward to see the positive impact it will have on the environment. In addition to shoreline clean ups the team also organized and held a fun filled, educational aquaculture day with the Reading For Fun group in St.Alban’s from ages 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 team had a great time teaching and interacting with the youth.

Town of North West River

In the summer student program with the Town of North West River, my main responsibility is to perform daily upkeep on the town which includes grass cutting, hedge trimming as well as garbage pick- up. The summer program runs from July 4th to August 25th, Monday to Friday and from 8:30am to 4:30pm. Working with the town I am responsible for a number of various activities that all correlate to beautification of the area, these include maintenance of lawns, trail clearing as well as 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 and a lot of clean-up/set-up, which we are responsible for. Along with the Beach Festival there are two other parks which we are responsible for the maintenance of, the Jenny Redford Park and the Sunday Hill Park. At these locations we are 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 is the general maintenance of the town hall as well as the tool shed. We have to make sure everything is in working order, clean and safe for use for any issues we encounter. Responsibilities at the tool shed include straightening away any tools, sweeping the shop and painting any garbage cans the colors of the Labrador flag. This is important for beautification because every member of the community has their garbage can painted in the same way. Every winter a lot of these barrels get damaged from snow clearing so they constantly need to be replaced and/or repainted.

Bay St. George YMCA ECHO Students

At the Bay St. George YMCA Summer Day Camp Program in Stephenville, we take in children between the ages of 5 to 12. The summer camp runs from July 3rd to August 25th, Monday to Friday and from 8:15am to 5:00pm. At the Summer Day Camp, we have a variety of activities that we do day to day throughout the summer that keep the children active and entertained. These include physical activities inside and outside, having guest presenters come in, crafts, field trips and theme days and weeks. The theme days go over very well at camp because the children are always excited for them and it gives them a chance to dress up and be creative. Some theme days that we have had or will have are Hawaii Day, Space Day, CSI Week, Christmas in July and Game Show Week. The guest presenters and field trips also make the summer camp better. The guest presenters are very educational for the children and are 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 are also a lot of fun for the children because they get to go somewhere different than the YMCA and have fun. We’ve walked to Blanche Brook Park a few times and did geocaching and also bird watching with some people in the town who are very familiar with doing in geocaching and bird watching. Another big field trip that we are planning is to go to the Insectarium in Deer Lake which will be a lot of fun and also informative for the children.

Town of Wabush ECHO Student

This project 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.