Objective: Provide hands-on learning to students on water quality testing and the Seine River basin.
Years Active: 2014 - Ongoing
The Waterways program provides students grades 6-8 with the opportunity to do authentic water testing activities with water samples taken from the Seine River. The program is offered in some schools of the Louis-Riel School Division and the DSFM (Franco-manitoban School Division).
Water testing includes measuring turbidity, oxygen levels, PH level, hardness, coliforms, temperature and the speed of the current of the river. The number of macro-invertebrates also gives an indication of the health of the river.
Students are trained to extract water samples using an authentic scientific approach. Some students actually enter the river to obtain water samples. This proves very interesting and motivating for the students. Water testing kits are available to schools who choose to participate in this activity. Schools are encouraged to share and compare their results with other schools also doing the research activity.
When the program was first introduced in the Louis-Riel School Division it was known as Adopt-a River. It has since been updated by LRSD staff to include three levels of activity and renamed Waterways. The first level is where students use a basic kit to test water collected on their school site. The second level includes an outdoor excursion along the Seine River to observe wildlife and eco-systems and at the same time collect water samples to analyze in the classroom. The third level includes an in-stream study with students entering the river to collect water samples and to perform the testing on the banks of the river.
Besides water testing, a number of other learning activities are also experienced along the river, including plant identification (trees, flowers) and also observing animal activity such as deer and beaver.
Students also learn about pollution issues in and near the river as well as riverbank erosion and the impact of residential development on the eco-systems of the river.
Casera Credit Union has supported both our River Keepers and Adopt-a-River initiatives, providing $10,000 per year from 2007 to 2017, and $5,000 per year from 2018 to 2019. Casera’s branch in the Southglen mall is located near the southern entrance to Bois-des-Esprits.