On June 13, 2024, a group of grade 3 and 4 students from École Sage Creek School embarked on an immersive exploration of a local wetland, right in their backyard. This adventure was a part of the Student Wetland Planning & Education Program, curated by Dr. John Buchko of Environmental Design Solutions (EDS).

The program kicked off with dynamic classroom sessions where Buchko explained the significance of wetlands and their contribution to our community. He cleverly used plant samples to hold the students’ attention and described the types of plants and animals they might encounter during their upcoming wetland exploration.

The real adventure began when the students stepped outside to begin their tour. Guided by Buchko, a landscape architect, planner, and certified professional in erosion and sediment control, led the students on a walk to a nearby wetland in Sage Creek.

Originally a Winnipeg resident now based in central Alberta, Buchko’s association with Sage Creek traces back to when EDS and Qualico Edmonton were interconnected. Over the years, this relationship evolved, leading to EDS branching out into an independent entity but maintaining close ties with Qualico.

In Sage Creek, EDS dedicates its expertise to customizing the stormwater retention basin plans. Their work ensures that our wetlands house a diverse array of native plant life, authentically replicating the ecosystem within a natural wetland.

Buchko’s infectious enthusiasm ensured the kids’ wetland visit was a memorable learning experience. The young environmentalists got their hands dirty with soil samples, examined water samples, and closely observed how prairie plant roots grow and spread their seeds. The students meticulously logged their observations and concluded their day with a creative task—brainstorming ideas on how we can enhance our wetlands for residents to enjoy.

Teaching children about local wetlands is a great way to nurture environmental stewardship and foster a deep connection to nature. At Qualico Communities, we believe that by educating the next generation, we help ensure the sustainability of neighbourhoods like Sage Creek. Empowering kids with knowledge and respect for their surroundings helps create a future where our environmental resources are valued and protected.

Catch a glimpse of these young explorers in action in the video below: