Anchored by principal Doug Hickey on left

Anchored by principal Doug Hickey on left

If you build it they (Castlegar) will know better

Castlegar elementary school students complete an important conservation-related project

A fence-full of brightly-coloured cut-out wooden fish is an eye-catcher wherever it happens to be.

Just such an attraction is now up on 7th Avenue in Castlegar outside Twin Rivers Elementary School.

The cut-out fish represent their living, swimming and spawning counterparts that are at continuing risk from a number of human behaviours.

Children at Twin Rivers Elementary are just the latest in a growing number of students and citizens who now know much better how to do their part for the benefit of aquatic life.

The “Stream of Dreams” has done it’s usual effective job in helping to make folks aware of the vital  importance of clean water.

The whole school took part, leading to a total of 358 brilliant fish brightening up the 7th Avenue scenery.


A little bit about the Stream outfit from its website:

“The Stream of Dreams Murals Society provides environmental education and is noted for its award-winning watershed education through community art program: helping people understand their connections to water and fish habitat and how to make behavioral changes to protect streams, rivers, lakes and our one ocean.”

Monica Nissen was one of a pair of “Streamers” on hand for the completion of the fish installation on May 23, and what a cheerful, positive rep she is for the Vancouver-based society.

“This project is based around how we all need clean water,” she said as a group was getting ready for a photo.

“So the kids have a workshop where they learn about where their water comes from and how to keep water clean… really being aware of what goes down the drain at home. They get to know all about storm drains on the streets, how everything going in goes straight to fish habitat.”















Pictured above, helping to steer the fish-themed effort were (left and centre, respectively) Monica Nissen and Emi Cronin of Stream of Dreams. At right is aboriginal support worker Kim Robertson. Jim Sinclair


Nissen pointed out how the artistic component does such a good job of drawing attention to the issue.

“Kids are now all ambassadors for clean water.”

According to the spokesperson more than 50,000 fish have been painted in the program, to date in locations including B.C., Alberta… east to Ontario and south to the United States.

“It’s a pretty big program,” said Nissen, “that all started in Burnaby.”

Kim Robertson, an aboriginal support worker with School District #20 who was deeply and actively involved in the project, added some closing points on this Castlegar edition of the Stream of Dreams effort.

“A huge thank you to Louise Towell of Stream of Dreams who funded the program,” said Roberston by way of an email to the Castlegar News. “DeEtte McKenzie of Kootenay Innovative Wood who donated the wood for the fish, Doug and Bob Hickey who cut out 300 wooden fish, Chris and Karen Kneght of Benjamin Moore Castlegar who donated about 16 litres of of paint, Terry Phillips of Wests Home Hardware for donating paintbrushes and sandpaper.

We also want to thank Emilia Cronin and Monica Nissen who orchestrated the three-day event.”