Have you wondered what is the quality of our water and soil in the city? The students in Environmental Science actively performed water testing at the waterfront and soil testing in the parkette beside the YMCA! The students enjoyed collecting the samples, especially the water sample from Lake Ontario. We were surprised at the results we received for the oxygen levels at the waterfront. The results were either invalid or Lake Ontario is heavily polluted since we received a reading of 0ppm. The students factored into their results that we were testing near the shoreline where human pollution collects including microplastics and boat oil. A low amount of oxygen suggests that the water ecosystem is unhealthy. The students have also been engaging in possible solutions by investigating local and global environments. The students observed that there is “too much construction” in our city.
At the lakefront, the students also investigated the levels of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium in the soil collected from the parkette. The students can be seen in the photographs performing chemical analysis of the soil samples. “We got good results,” said an environmentalist in training! The students were fascinated by the unique opportunity to engage in a field study in their local community! One student expressed:
“We could not have picked a better day. It was not raining. It was sunny.”
As we continued our field study, we compared the disturbed location (heavy human traffic area) to an undisturbed location (limited human traffic area). What area did we choose? The Green Industries terrace! We wanted to determine how healthy the soil is where the Green Industries class is growing plants and vegetables. If nutrients are too high, nutrients can become contaminants! What were the results? The students are still actively comparing the data though, most intriguing, nitrogen was high in the disturbed environment. Nitrogen is a common ingredient in fertilizers. Another student shared:
“We learned a lot about our city and the biodiversity.”
Check out the rest the rest of the pictures on our Facebook page!