UGDSB Embraces the Blue Dot Movement

The UGDSB has officially joined the growing number of organizations and communities that have embraced the Blue Dot environmental movement. At the January 12th, 2016 UGDSB Board meeting, Sarah Mason, a Centennial student presented information to Trustees about Blue Dot, which is a project of the David Suzuki Foundation. This movement is ultimately asking our government to recognize our inherent right to a healthy environment – clean water, fresh air, healthy food and a say in decisions that affect us. The Foundation is asking organizations, communities, municipalities, cities and provinces to declare their support of the Blue Dot movement to recognize that a healthy environment should be a basic right. This is a symbolic gesture and its potential resides in gathering numbers. If enough support is demonstrated, this may convince the federal government to include healthy food, clean air and fresh water in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Over 100 municipalities including Guelph and Erin have officially signed declarations to date.

The exciting outcome of the presentation was that the Board approved the adoption of the Blue Dot resolution, making the UGDSB an environmental leader in its commitment to environmental sustainability. The board has previously shown its dedication to environmental education initiatives with the creation of an Environmental Education Management Committee (EEMC) and the creation of a comprehensive Environmental Sustainability Action Plan. The Blue Dot philosophy is mirrored in the EEMC’s vision which states: “By the 2017-18 school year the Upper Grand District School Board will be a community leader in environmental stewardship and sustainability. Students and staff in all schools and board departments will work together with our community partners to become environmentally responsible citizens in a safe, healthy and sustainable environment.”

We are very proud of the leadership demonstrated by Sarah Mason in bringing the Blue Dot resolution forward to the board. She is following in the footsteps of three other remarkable students - Sarah DeVries, Cara Livingston and Mackenzie Ross. As part of a project for the grade 12 Headwaters Environmental Leadership program, these three students chose as their goal to convince the City of Guelph to become a Blue Dot municipality. The project quickly turned into their personal mission, and by meeting with city councilors, using social media to raise awareness and gathering signatures on petitions they prepared their case. On October 27th, 2015, they brought a delegation to a council meeting, and were successful in their request that the City of Guelph sign the Blue Dot Declaration.

It’s remarkable what our Upper Grand students can accomplish!

For more information on the Blue Dot movement visit bluedot.ca.