Let’s face it… 2020 has been a tough year. For many of us, getting outside has never been more difficult to do, and worrying about water quality simply isn’t at the top of our priority list while we’re trying to stay afloat. Despite this, we were astonished to see this past testing season be tremendously successful!
This wouldn’t have been possible without our ever-expanding network of water testers. This year, we welcomed hundreds of new testers to the Water Rangers community, and sometimes, even whole families jumped on board!
Getting families involved was the idea behind our first ever Water Quality Scavenger Hunt. The idea behind this was simple: we wanted to give families a safe, fun way to explore their local waterbodies. Thanks to generous funding from the City of Ottawa’s Community Environmental Projects Grant Program, we were able to equip 21 families from the Ottawa area with testkits in July of this year. Participants were challenged to test on the last weekend of every month (our national testing day), and were also given a list of items to look out for as they went testing, such as feathers, frogs, and pinecones. Winners were chosen at the end of every month based on the effort they put in, and were awarded with a custom-made t-shirt depicting their water testing journey!
Together, these families uploaded 135 observations from over 70 locations across Ottawa and beyond between July and October, as well as hundreds of pictures!
Here are just some of the pictures taken by our scavenger hunt participants:
As a way to thank participants, each family was mailed a packet of non-invasive wildflower seeds to plant on their property at the end of the summer.
All in all, our first ever Water Quality Scavenger Hunt was a resounding success, and we can’t wait to host similar programs in the future with even more families. Thank you to ALL participants for your hard work!