Students and staff at St. Justin, Martyr Catholic Elementary School were thrilled to welcome Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, to their April 22nd Earth Day celebrations. This was a particularly important visit for staff and students, given Her Honour’s interest and vast expertise in environmental issues.
An event-packed afternoon for students, staff, parents and special guests, kicked off with the arrival of the Lieutenant Governor to an enthusiastic greeting by kindergarten and primary students waving Earth Day flags, followed by a walkabout to interact with students showcasing environmental projects that included milk bag mat weaving, innovative greenhouse design, and creative presentations on climate change, oil spills and water issues.
Her Honour attended the popular Rock the Bike assembly hosted by Larry Tadman and Kent Shadwick. Their off the grid light and music show was entirely powered by the cycling energy of Enviro Club members and special guest, Commonwealth and Pan-Am Cyclist Ed Veal.
City of Markham staff presented a special certificate to recognize St. Justin, Martyr’s six year commitment to their waste minimization program. The highlight of the assembly was an address by the Lieutenant Governor who paid tribute to students for their warm welcome, knowledge and commitment to environmental action.
Before saying good-bye, the Lieutenant Governor helped Enviro Club members and Principal Michael Neilands to plant a native North American tree donated by the non-profit organization, L.E.A.F. This tree will provide students with a lasting legacy of Her Honour’s visit. All who attended will never forget the grace, kindness and depth of knowledge shown by our wonderful Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell.
A proud, certified gold EcoSchool for five years, St. Justin, Martyr has an active Enviro Club of over 45 students and is proud to be the first school in York Catholic to introduce organic waste bins through the City of Markham’s Zero Waste program.