Today, the City of Burlington’s sustainability team went to Aldershot High School to participate in a pilot speaker series designed to engage youth from two grade nine geography classes. The program is modelled after a successful initiative at Acton High School in partnership with Halton Region Health Department.
Throughout the month of November, guest speakers visited the school to interact with the students twice a week. City staff from planning and building, transportation services, capital works (parks and open space section), and parks and recreation (special events section) have taken part along with Ward One City Councillor Rick Craven and representatives from Halton Food Council and Halton Region Health Department. Collectively, they discussed topics such as walkability, cycling, trails, community youth engagement, food waste and more.
All guest speakers were asked to present their topic in about 30 minutes and also plan a 30-minute interactive activity. As the last presenters of the pilot program, Lynn and I were able to bring together most of what was previously discussed through our sustainability theme. For our activity, we provided each group of about six students with a city map and markers and asked for their opinion as to the actions or initiatives that could make the City of Burlington the greenest city. After 20 minutes, each group was asked to present their ideas.
Student suggestions included:
- Adding ‘safe areas’ (green space) with wilderness shacks that are used to educate the public about local plants and animals
- Adding green space on top of buildings (green roofs)
- More parks and community gardens
- More waste bins to decrease litter
- Solar lamp posts
- Solar panels on City Hall, pools and arenas
- Carpool lanes on all the highways
- More carpool lots
- LRT across Plains Road and Fairview Street
- More electric vehicle car chargers
- More bus stops and buses to replace single vehicles
Well done Aldershot High School grade nine geography students!