Jasmine Lee won the youth Environmental Hero Award in 2017. Nominations for the 2018 awards are open until April 20. Miranda Gathercole Langley Times

Youth take environmental action

Former Environmental Hero Award winner shows how young people are making a difference in Langley

Jasmine Lee first discovered a passion for the environment when watching a Taiwanese newscast with her dad.

The program was on the benefits of aquaponics, small scale systems that use fish feces to fertilize plants for cultivation.

“We decided that we were going to start it here,” said Lee, a Grade 12 student at R.E. Mountain Secondary.

“That was initially just a project. Then the more I researched, and the more I learned about the environment, the more I realized it was crucial to do something. It was crucial to even take part in just a little bit of change.”

That led Lee, and her older sister, Samantha, to create the Aquaponics Club at R.E. Mountain Secondary, and to begin building the systems with other students.

For her efforts, Lee was awarded the youth Environmental Hero Award last year.

READ MORE: Mountain students help win $25K

Using a $500 honorarium from the prize, Lee and 20 other students are continuing these efforts through the newly established R.E. Mountain Sustainability Corps. They were able to purchase more materials to construct aquaponics systems, and expand the program to the U-Connect Centre at Simonds Elementary School.

This year the group has also started working with the Plastic Bank — an organization that monetizes waste — and have submitted a campaign to reduce plastics in oceans to the BC Green Games.

“I think it’s just an incredible honour. It came as a huge surprise for me because I didn’t know I had been nominated until after I was nominated,” Lee said of the award.

“I think it’s really important to participate in all of these things, because it definitely adds to being a person. It adds to being a global citizen. It contributes to character, to collaboration, and there’s so many skills you can learn as a leader or as a participant in change.”

As a former winner, Lee encourages residents to nominate their fellow community members for the 2018 Langley Environmental Hero Awards.

Submissions can be made until April 20 in three categories: youth (aged 18 and younger), individual and organization/business.

READ MORE: Nominations open for 2018 Langley Environmental Hero Awards

“I think it’s important to nominate people who are making change, because in turn, we can continue to inspire other people to make change as well. Stuff that’s happening right now isn’t stuff that’s going to be taken care of by one person in one year. We spent so many years creating these problems, so we have to spend many more to catch up,” she said.

“I think it’s important to see the youth nominated, especially, because we are going to be the leaders of tomorrow. And it’s important to see those individuals, those organization being nominated, to see where we can go. It shows the youth what they can become.”

Anyone who puts forward a name for consideration will be asked to fill out a nomination form, briefly describing the nominee’s actions and explaining why they consider the person, group or business to be an environmental hero.

Winners will be announced on Saturday, June 9 during a ceremony at the Fort Langley National Historic Site. Those chosen will be recognized with a plaque and heritage apple tree planted in their honour, and will receive $500 to donate to the environmental organization of their choice.

Nomination forms can be picked up from Langley-Aldergrove MP Mark Warawa’s constituency office, 4769 222 St., or downloaded from the MP’s website at markwarawa.com. Send completed forms by email to langleyenvironmentalhero@gmail.com or by mail (postage free) to Mark Warawa, MP 104 — 4769 222 St. Langley B.C. V2Z 3C1.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Aldergrove remembers generous spirit of John Jones

Aldergrove Athletic Park soccer field to be named after community leader

City of Langley locks outreach groups out of Rotary Centennial park

Feeding the homeless in public park a violation of several bylaws, says City CAO

Langley home searched for murder suspect Brandon Teixeira

IHIT, CFSEU and Lower Mainland ERT descended on Willoughby home Wednesday afternoon

Thanksgiving Food Drive may have to move due to increased donations

‘It’s a nice problem to have’ organizer says

VIDEO: Gateway to Aldergrove mural celebrated

Artists and sponsors join Kitchen Korner in marking downtown arts achievement

Watch out for Pavement Patty: Drivers warned outside B.C. elementary school

New survey reveals unsafe school zones during 2018 back-to-school week

Horvat leads Canucks to 4-3 shootout victory over Kings

Vancouver dumps L.A. in NHL pre-season contest

Aldergrove Totem Nation: A Nation, A Community

Aldergrove Community Secondary School writing students talk about ‘connecting’

Update: Search called off for missing plane between Edmonton and Chilliwack

Search efforts were concentrated along the Highway 5 corridor between Valemount and Kamloops

Why Whistler for ski jumping in 2026? Calgary proposal gets pushback

Calgary 2026 proposes re-using the 2010 ski jumping venue Whistler for that sport and nordic

Despite progress, threat of 232 tariffs dominates NAFTA negotiations

Any deal is seen to require congressional approval before Dec. 1 to survive new Mexican government

VIDEO: Hundreds line highway as family brings home body of B.C. teen

Northern B.C. showed their support by lining Hwy 16 as Jessica Patrick’s body returned to Smithers.

VIDEO: Woman files complaint over treatment of cat with two broken legs

Ariel Johnston of Abbotsford says her pet was sent home without pain medication

B.C. MP Todd Doherty receives award for saving man who collapsed on a plane

Conservative MP was flying from Vancouver to Prince George, B.C., in June last year

Most Read