Those colourful wooden salmon seen swimming along school fences are more than mere decoration.
During the first week of May, Parkcrest elementary students and staff will be the next school to explore an educational project called Stream of Dreams.
Led by Parkcrest teacher Jayne Latta and Stream of Dreams co-ordinator Louise Towell, students will have an opportunity to work with local First Nations, Stream of Dreams Society and the Pacific Salmon Foundation. The purpose of the program, centred around proper stewardship of the salmon resource, is to enrich students’ personal relationship with the environment and educate the general public as well.
On May 26, students and all staff will take part in workshops that teach students about their local watershed and how to protect urban streams from storm drain pollution. Each student will create a "dreamfish" to be attached to the fence bordering Parkcrest school.
Students will also be learning about the significance salmon have to First Nations culture. A celebration picnic will wrap up the project for staff, students, parents and Aboriginal guests.
A grant from the Pacific Foundation supports the Parkcrest project.
The Stream of Dreams project began in Burnaby in 2000 after a disastrous fish kill in Byrne Creek in 1998. About 5,000 fish were killed. Artist Louise Towell joined forces with the Byrne Creek Streamkeepers to create the first Stream of Dreams mural at Edmonds and Kingsway. The project engages thousands of students every year through education and the creation of public community art. Fish on Fences remind the public that "All drains lead to fish habitat."