Walk Around Your Watershed with Your Community

Description

For this challenge, you will host a short walk to a local watershed and reflect on the importance of watersheds, how we impact them and what we can do to conserve them.

Watershed: An area of land where all the surface water drains into the same place.

Wherever you are in Canada, you are part of a watershed. These watersheds can be open (e.g. draining to the ocean) or closed (e.g. can only evaporate or go underground). Most watersheds in Canada are open meaning that we are all directly connected to our oceans. You can find your local watershed here.

Connecting people to their watersheds is an important first step in ocean conservation. People who feel connected to their watershed are more likely to try to protect it. You can host a community watershed walk  to connect them to their watershed and help people take conservation action!


Task

Here is what you need to do:

BEFORE YOUR EVENT

  1. Set a day, time and route. You can host a walk by a local beach, lake or stream. Consider accessibility and safety of your location as well as points where you can stop and reflect. Estimate the number of attendees (or a set a limit) and plan accordingly.
  2. Choose a theme for your walk. You can have more than one theme! Canadian Geographic has many ideas. Some other ideas include:
    1. Indigenous Reconciliation and the Watershed
    2. Wildlife in the Watershed (Ex. Wildlife sighting, bird watching)
    3. The Blue Economy and our Watershed
  3. Partner with another local organization and ask them to lead part of the walk. Consider partnering with a local Indigenous group (See Stanley Park's Indigenous Plant Use Walks) or a local conservation group (ex. Waterkeepers
  4. Learn about your local watershed! Working with your partner organization, plan your route, activities and gather your materials.
  5. Use the Communications Plan Template to develop a communications strategy. Contact the Ocean Bridge Communication Coordinator to connect you with local media outlets.
  6. Market your event! Invite friends, family and members of the community to attend. Spread the word through social media, and community meetings, or in person.

DURING YOUR EVENT

  1. Welcome your participants, introduce your themes and acknowledge whose Traditional Territory you will be walking through.
  2. Host your watershed walk! Below are some activities/questions you can ask your participants during your walk. Participants can share their answers with the whole group, in smaller groups or with one other person
    1. Ask your participants to sit in silence for a moment. Ask: How do you feel connected to this place? What's important to you about this place? Who shares this place with you?
    2. Ask your participants to identify your watershed. Where does the water drain to? How does this watershed connect to other natural and urban areas?
    3. Identify threats to your watershed. Do you see any indications of human impact? How do our actions affect this watershed? 
    4. What direct actions can we take to protect this watershed today and for future generations?  You could ask participants to creatively share their reflections (ex. song, poetry, visual arts), volunteer with a local watershed restoration organizationhost a Shoreline Cleanuphost a Letter Writing Event to protect your watershed, or agree to sign the #Plastic Wise Pledge.
    5. End your workshop with a conclusion (ex. Your personal conservation watershed moment or a poem, quote or story)
  3. Thank your participants for coming and your partner organizations for working with you.
  4. Be active on social media using our hashtags #OceanBridge #LeadersToday and tag @OceanWise @leaderstoday and @SocDevSoc on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

AFTER YOUR EVENT

  1. Share your experience! Tag your service on our Ocean Service Activities map. Take photos and share them on our community space gallery, write a blog or post sharing your reflections on your local watershed or share it to the discussion board.

Ready to take it to the next level?

Host a Walk Your Watershed event alongside a Shoreline CleanupOutreach Fair or other community event.

Want to do something a little simpler?

Walk Your Watershed with your Friends, Co-workers and Classmates


Continue to Letter Writing Event in Your Community »