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Students tell council how to prepare for climate change; make County more livable

Students from Grade 5 classes at PECI presented County Council with ideas to prepare for climate change and make the County a more livable place.

They visited Shire Hall during Local Government Week for a hands-on learning experience Thursday. In the morning, they heard from municipal staff and participated in a council-led activity and in the afternoon made presentations to the Committee of the Whole meeting.

Ms. Marion’s Grade 5 class presented ideas on how the County could fight climate change.

Class members suggested holding sharing sessions at the school, or Shire Hall, to encourage and educate the community about several ideas, including the reuse and upcycling of items instead of sending them to landfill. Examples included using mason jars as light fixtures; old books and materials as footstools, cans for desk storage and pallet wood to make simple furniture such as coffee tables. They suggest people should learn how to repurpose funiture or buy it inexpensively, instead of buying new.

Students also suggested discussion on easy ways to eliminate single-use plastics both in information sessions, and by students visiting other students in schools. Ideas included using metal straws, reusable water containers; using old linens as rags and making toys from wood and fabric, instead of buying plastic ones.

They suggested more solar panels be placed in the community – at Shire Hall, all schools, arenas, libraries, the fire halls and grocery stores in a bid to switch to cleaner energy than fossil fuels and reduce carbon footprints.

Students in Madame Dumas’ class spoke of making the County a more livable community.

They want more focus on cleaning the community of garbage on shorelines and water bodies.

They also propose the County set up recycling for large metal objects to keep them out of landfill, and install more charging stations to encourage the use of electric cars.

They stated a bicycle and skateboard exchange at the local skatepark would encourage reuse as well as exercise.

The students were thanked by council, and complimented on their research and presentations.

“We are depending on your generation to keep us moving in the right direction,” said councillor Janice Maynard. “We’ll work together. You keep and eye on us and we’ll fight climate change together.”

The day was an observance of Local Government Week, being celebrated in Ontario municipalities.

“As the level of government closest to the people, municipalities impact the day-to-day lives of people in many different ways,” said Mayor Steve Ferguson, Mayor. “Local Government Week is a great opportunity to increase awareness of the role the County plays in shaping the community.”

Throughout the week, the muncipality encouraged people are encouraged to visit the County’s Facebook and Twitter pages, or use the hashtag #LGWPEC to learn how local government affects their everyday lives.

“We want to spark a conversation with young and old alike throughout the week and hear what’s important to them as Prince Edward County residents,” Ferguson said.

Filed Under: Featured ArticlesHastings & Prince Edward District School BoardLocal NewsPECI - It's a Panther Thing

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