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Roddickton-Bide Arm welcomes Green Team to the community for the first time

Henry Merkuratsuk, Natalia Randell and Nadia Randell make up the Roddickton-Bide Arm Green Team. Henry’s favourite part of the program has been the Going Green Days, Natalia’s was the Memory Mug-ups and Nadia’s was Cultural Diversity Day.
Henry Merkuratsuk, Natalia Randell and Nadia Randell make up the Roddickton-Bide Arm Green Team. Henry’s favourite part of the program has been the Going Green Days, Natalia’s was the Memory Mug-ups and Nadia’s was Cultural Diversity Day. - Contributed

It is easy being green

The Roddickton-Bide Arm Green Team is spreading environmental awareness throughout the community.

This summer the town has hired on three university and high school students – Natalia Randell, Nadia Randell and Henry Merkuratsuk – for an eight-week program facilitating green initiatives.

The Green Team is entering its sixth week of educating the public and helping keep Roddickton-Bide Arm clean.

Nadia Randell waters flowers in the Green Team’s garden they planted at the town hall.
Nadia Randell waters flowers in the Green Team’s garden they planted at the town hall.

One day is designated each week for the Green Team to talk to children, aged four to 13, about green initiatives and how they can use them at home.

These are known as their Going Green Days.

The Green Team touches upon several different subjects including the motto of “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”, water pollution and conservation, composting and an assortment of other topics.

Natalia says they incorporate crafts and other activities to help children better understand and keep them interested.

For Mayor Sheila Fitzgerald, reaching the children is the most important part of having the program.

“We want the Green Team to educate our children about going green,” she said. “They will spread the message. They’ll go home, they’ll talk about it with their parents, they’ll talk about it at school.”

Another important event hosted by the team was the Memory Mug Up, where local seniors spoke with the public about traditional ways of living.

The Green Team felt they learned a great deal about how the traditional Newfoundland and Labrador way of living was more green-friendly than how people in the province live today.

“A lot of them used to garden for their own food back then instead of going and buying it,” said Henry. “That helped to teach other young people they could grow their own food.”

On Monday, Aug. 6, the team hosted a Cultural Diversity Day. With games, Indigenous music and dancing, giving the community an opportunity to celebrate its cultural roots – another important part of the Green Team initiative.

The rest of the time, the Green Team has been helping clean up around town, doing things like picking up litter.

The town received funding from the Conservation Corps to facilitate the program. It is contributing 50 per cent of the funding while the town is paying the other half.

Fitzgerald, an advocate for green initiatives, says having a Green Team was something the town council felt was necessary.

“It was something we planned for and thought would be an asset to the town for the summer,” said Fitzgerald.

She hopes the town will be able to avail of the program every year from now on.

stephen.roberts@northernpen.ca

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