Tag Archives: Children

Halton Children’s Water Festival celebrates ten years of water education

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“The great aim of education is not knowledge but action,” Herbert Spencer (English philosopher).

Written by: Norm Miller, Communications Advisor

The Halton Children’s Water Festival (HCWF) was launched in 2006 with the intent to teach elementary school children about water, and also inspire them to be stewards of this most precious resource. The water festival does this by teaching children about water through activities which engage them in a fun and interactive way.

This past week (September 30 to October 2) the HCWF celebrated its tenth year with 2,700 students in grades 2 to 5 participating over three days at Kelso Conservation Area in Milton. (The festival is normally four days however organizers had to cancel a day due to weather). The HCWF has seen more than 34,500 elementary students attend since its launch.

The majority of the activities at the festival are led by high school students. This experience provides the high school students with a leadership opportunity, presentation experience, and teaches them about water at the same time. The HCWF features 60 activity centres which incorporate four main water-related themes:

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Water Conservation and Protection
  • Water Health and Safety
  • Water and Society

One of the neat aspects of running a festival for ten years is that you witness the beginning of the legacy. Students who attended as elementary students return a few years later as high school students to lead activities. The students who attended the first Water Festival in 2006 as grade 5 students are now in university and may even be studying something related to the environment. What will be seen is the positive impact created in our community by the HCWF by teaching these children about water and instilling in them the desire to take action to conserve and protect it.

About the Halton Children’s Water Festival

The HCWF was first held in 2006 and was launched with the assistance of a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. The Festival is co-hosted by Conservation Halton and Halton Region in partnership with, the Halton District School Board, the Halton Catholic District School Board, the City of Burlington, the Town of Halton Hills, and the Town of Oakville. Conservation Halton Chairman John Vice and Regional Chair Gary Carr serve as the Festival’s honorary co-chairs.

The Festival is sustainable thanks to in-kind and monetary support from organizations in the Halton community. Thanks to the following community businesses for their support of the HCWF:

Thank you also to Aird & Berlis LLP, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, City of Burlington, Town of Halton Hills, Me to We, Nalco Canada, R & M Construction, R. V. Anderson Associated Limited, Terrapure, Thomson, Rogers.

For more information on Festival supporters visit the HCWF supporter page, hcwf.ca/supporters/list-of-supporters


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Ski the Slopes with a Pinecone Snow Kid


Written by: Karlee May, Digital Media Coordinator

We’ve patiently waited all spring, summer, and autumn, and winter is finally here. Finally we can ski at Glen Eden! If your family loves sliding down the slopes, they’ll love to make a Pinecone Snow Kid. Follow our step by step guide below!

After you’ve made your Snow Kid, I bet your family is ecstatic to get outside themselves! There is more to Halton Parks than Glen Eden. Visit our Events calendar and see what activities are afoot in Halton Parks, or purchase a Halton Parks membership and hike in the parks at your leisure.

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Halton Forest Festival 2012

Another week, another festival, another guest blogger! Unlike the Halton Children’s Water Festival, the Halton Forest Festival has a public day component! Come join us, we’d love to have you! This blog, written by Forest Festival coordinator, Sasha Benevides, is a peek into how she was feeling in the weeks, days and hours spent planning for Halton’s first Forest Festival. Here’s what she had to say:

“The first annual Halton Forest Festival is almost here and I couldn’t be more excited and anxious to see it all come together.  It has been just about a year of planning and I’m finally getting a genuine look at what this festival has become.

After focusing on our educational days, reviewing programming and completing inventory, for what seemed like forever– what brings me peace of mind is knowing that we have 24 fun and interesting activities that I hope will intrigue and engage the nearly 1000 students that are set to attend next week. After all, it was a grade eight field trip not so different than our festival that sparked my interest in the environment and I think back on that often when I roll into work each morning.

A big goal of mine throughout the planning process was making the event fun, while getting students outside (rain or shine!), looking at their forests with a more comprehensive set of eyes.  Especially in a growing community where we often see land developed, converted or fragmented it is important to reflect on the role our forests play in our environment and why they’re so important. Forests clean our air, water, provide a critical resource but they’re also a beautiful and interesting place to enjoy and preserve. Just go take a hike through the fall colours and you will know exactly what I mean.”

A special thanks to the Forest Festival Sponsors:

Old-Growth Forest Level:

Tree Level:

– AECOM – Aird & Berlis – Cole Engineering- – Town of Halton Hills – Halton-Peel Woodlands and Wildlife Stewardship Council – Lafarge – Town of Milton – Town of Oakville – R.V. Anderson Associates – Thomson, Rogers

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Halton Children’s Water Festival 2012

We asked Halton Children’s Water Festival coordinator, Meagan Byrne (@meg_i_Byrne), to guest blog about her experience planning and organizing the 2012 Halton Children’s Water Festival. Meagan had the job of filling in for a maternity leave half-way through and had to hit the ground running. She’s done a great job and here are her thoughts about the lead up to the festival:

“The final week has begun and the entire HCWF team is in overdrive mode. These are the times I like the best, because when you have months to work on details it is easy have your excitement for the event wane. Well this week will certainly make up for that!

This week a lot happened. The new HCWF website went live, the tents went up, the activity materials were dusted off, and newly purchased items are coming in every day. This can all come together so well because of my amazing co-workers and the hard work of the HCWF committee. Each person puts in so much to get this festival going every year it’s hard to think how I could do it without them.

One of the things I have enjoyed most about this job is working on our new website. It’s been a lot of work, but it’s been amazing being part of such a great project. It’s had its difficulties, there’s nothing more frustrating than writing out a block of text only to realise that you have added an extra space or forgotten to add a link. But when it’s done and you can see your hard work, well, there’s nothing like website development to make you feel like your effort has had a tangible effect.

In the end any event, no matter how small, is always the end result of a lot of effort and it is the event planner’s lot to always be thinking “Okay it’s over and went well….What’s next?” I know that once the event starts and everything is going smoothly, I too will be thinking wistfully “What’s next?”

So what do you guys think of the new website? http://www.hcwf.ca We’d love to hear your thoughts!

We would like to thank the HCWF sponsors for all their support.

  • Aird & Berlis
  • City of Burlington
  • Cole Engineering
  • GE Power & Water
  • Town of Halton Hills
  • Town of Milton
  • Nalco
  • R.V. Anderson Associates
  • Storage Solutions
  • Thomson Rogers

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World Water Day – March 22 2012

By Beth Anne Fischer, Halton Children’s Water Festival and Volunteer Coordinator


2010 Pineview pic2

In celebration of Canada Water Week and International World Water Day (March 22) W.H. Morden Public School in Oakville is implementing the Stream of Dreams program. From March 19 – 22 all the students in the school will learn about ways to protect water and paint a wooden “dream fish.”

These fish, which were cut and diligently prepared by the grade seven and eight students will be installed on the school’s fence in a decorative mural. The mural will serve as a reminder to the students and the broader community to take care of water for the benefit of human health and all creatures that depend on aquatic ecosystems.

2010 St. Andrew pic2

Stream of Dreams teaches students about where the water in our homes comes from, where it goes after we use it and the hidden pathway from storm drains to creeks/lakes. Most students (and many adults) do not know that the water that goes down the storm drain (the square grate on the road) goes directly into waterways without being treated. This can cause problems as many people commonly dump items down the storm drain that are harmful to our ecosystems and water quality.

Some of the items doing damange to our water ways:
– Soapy water
– Motor oil
– Pool water
– Sand
– Paint water
– Cooking oil
– Garbage
– Cleaning chemicals

Take some time on Thursday March 22 to learn how to properly dispose of these contaminates, celebrate water and reflect on the vital role it plays in all or our lives!

Learn More:

For more information on the Stream of Dreams or other education programs that Conservation Halton offers, click here.


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