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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Credit River, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

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Credit River, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada


Registered: November 2012
City/Town/Province: Mississauga/Ontario
Posts: 1
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Apprentice Ecologist Initiative
An ecologist is described as one who studies and sees the relationship between organisms and their environment. One will then use that information to protect the organism and do everything possible to keep that balance in nature. All people however are responsible for protecting the life on this planet whether it is for plants or animals. We as humans have a tendency to take over and control land that was and is used by other animals and plants. These beings that have lived in those habitats for centuries are pushed aside when humans decide to put money making buildings in their habitat. However, those who have seen the error in these actions will continue to try and preserve what was originally there. Ecologists see the negative impact that human actions have caused, and inspire people to conserve the biodiversity and ecosystems in their backyard and eventually to the whole planet.
However, there are many people in this world that aspire to make this happen. Furthermore, I come from a family with green and futuristic thinking who try to live out an environmentally positive lifestyle. My family has always showed me the most eco-friendly way to do a task. As I grew older, I became so fascinated in the earth and how to conserve it that I began to do my own research; learning how I can better the environment. Some of these tasks include walking to school, recycling, reusing items like scrap paper, carpooling, and growing some of our own vegetables with our grandparents. Furthermore, this year I felt I was ready for something even bigger, to really put all my little tasks to practise in the community. That was when I started researching organizations that supported people doing green acts that were beneficial to the community. When I saw this project, I jumped at the start because I knew I was ready to make an organization like NWP proud.
Since I live close to the Credit River, I thought that would be the perfect place to conduct my project. There is so much wildlife and plant life there so as a result, it is greatly affected by our bad decisions. It is a perfect example of nature in my backyard, and I decided to conduct my clean up there since that environment would be the most impacted by my actions. Therefore I wanted to see what effect my community had on that ecosystem and how I could help restore it. In addition, the Credit River is principle water shed in Mississauga which drains the land water into the rivers, and eventually into Lake Ontario. However, if the river is cluttered with litter or other dangerous objects, it will contaminate the water that is trying to purify itself as it flows through the soil and into the rivers.
Although the Credit River near my house is small, it still has a big impact on the environment and local ecosystems. Watersheds like the Credit River are the best place for species to reproduce and prevent other species from disappearing completely. It holds many rare species that use the space for rehabilitation from all of the pollution/littering, destruction of habitat, and human interference. When the space is clean and clear from all evidence of human destruction, it makes the species more in tuned to their natural surroundings, and that is when species become stronger and feel less threatened. As a result, the population of the rare species starts to increase steadily. As for the species that have adapted to living in an urban environment, they still need a clean and natural wildlife area to be able to survive. By adapting to urban living, they are not content with the building but they are able to find other places to live in that same environment. If the Credit River is that one place of safe environment that they can find, it has to be in the best condition possible. If the species can feel comfortable and not threatened, they will be able to reproduce more and live longer, in a natural area that provides food and shelter.
In my apprenticeship project, I helped to clean up and remove the trash and recyclables in the Credit River. After learning about the river, I felt obligated to help restore the river to its natural beauty and if I did not initiate a cleanup, then it would not happen. I was able to pick up everything I saw on the walkway and partially into the forest area. I was able to find quite a few items through the pathway and in the forest, several of which were recyclable items; and throughout the walkway on the river, there are places for people to put their garbage and recycle, however numerous people do not use it. Nevertheless, my hope is that if people do not see the litter on the ground, they will be more proactive in keeping the walkway clean; and this was my motive for cleaning the area. I found items such as water bottles, coffee cups, pop cans, plastic utensils and plastic cups. All of these items could have been easy recycled and so after I collected the material, I went home and placed them all in a recycle bin, for them to be reused in manufacturing new products. I also found other items such as food wrappers, tissue paper, cigarette ends, foam, foil and metal pieces that animals could cut themselves with. All of these items were disposed of safely in a garbage. As a result, I not only cleaned up the Credit River area but disposed of the litter appropriately; this would further protect and help the environment because now the items will be disposed of or used in the future. Furthermore, countless materials that belonged in the garbage were very well hidden in the forest and camouflaged as if they were a part of the forest. This could harm many animals in the forest if they were to misinterpret the garbage for food or shelter. In cleaning up the area, I was able to prevent this from happening and possibly saving some animals from choking on the litter.
Although it was only my friend and I cleaning up physically, I shared my knowledge with others to try and get other people to put these actions into practise in their daily lives. I felt as if I truly took initiative in helping my community to understand the concept of ecology and protecting our earth; because it’s one task to clean an area, but you also have to try and prevent it from happening again. I think that where I conducted my experiment is a very crucial place to keep clean and in its natural state because there are still so many animals that live in that area. When we construct all these new buildings, the animals have nowhere to go except the Credit River. Since that is their last resort for a home, people cannot afford to harm the area and jeopardise the animals’ natural life and survival.
Due to these reasons, I did not only clean up a valuable piece of habitat but also shared my knowledge to all of those around me. I helped to educate others in my school and family on the result of their actions and how they can change their ways. I explained to them how they can live out a more ecological friendly life through recycling, walking/busing not driving to school and not to pollute or litter in any environments, especially natural habitats. I think that by sharing this information with people, they too will take the initiative to go out of their way to keep our city clean. People today have to take the initiative to do something when nobody else will. All of the litter that I cleaned up was due to people not only littering themselves when they see others do it, but also because when most people see that, they just turn a blind eye and pretend that they did not see it; the more people do this, the worst it gets.
The cleaner we keep the Credit River; the chances of survival for many species will increase, including the trout and salmon. This river is a huge contributor to the restoration of these fish to Lake Ontario. If the community could restore the salmon population that would greatly improve Lake Ontario’s biodiversity and it would keep the watersheds in the community clean.
The Apprentice Ecologist Project has immensely enriched my life because for me, this is the first time I have taken the initiative to do something I believe in. I have heard all over the news and media how our world is being destroyed due to our negative actions. The earth has done nothing but provide us with multiple resources and survival/luxury tools and we show our appreciation through destroying the land that we received the resources from. This really bothered me and I had the drive to want to do something about it, but I did not know of any opportunities to use my passion. When I found this project, I took it on right away because it was exactly what I was looking for. Since then, I have become more self-confident in my passion to protect the environment. I had such a good feeling when I cleaned up the river, so I try now to share my ideas of saving the planet with all my family and friends. I now know how close this problem is to my city and I, so cleaning up allowed me to really feel the connection I have with the environment. So now when I see someone hurting a plant or littering it feels as if they are hurting me. If someone is sick you don’t just forget about them, you take care of them help in their recovery. My goal for the future is to continue to care for our sick planet even if in small ways because the little actions add up to make a big impact. I will pursue actions such as cleaning up more areas in my area, planting trees to help purify our air, and continuing to advocate for a greener and more ecological friendly lifestyle for everyone to live.

The Apprentice Ecologist Initiative project has many positive motives to try and encourage youth to take action. This program has taught me to use my leadership skills through engaging in environmental cleanup projects. It has empowered many people to do the right thing when it comes to ecological issues and the social wellbeing of one’s community. Ecologists don’t just study organisms, they learn about how organisms can survive and how to improve their lifestyle in this continually changing environment. There are many people who specialize in school to become an ecologist, but all of us can do little tasks at home to help all the ecologist with their ultimate goal; to have an environmentally, and socially peaceful world.
Date: November 30, 2012 Views: 3668 File size: 37.6kb : 350 x 263
Hours Volunteered: 4
Volunteers: 2
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 17 & 49
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