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Local Students Find Innovative Environmental Solutions

CAMROSE, ALBERTA -- (Marketwired) -- 05/16/14 -- The EcoVision club from Lacombe Composite High School is not an understatement. This impressive club has taken massive steps to reduce their schools ecological footprint, with an understanding and commitment to sustainability which would impress anyone who takes the time to listen.

Tizita Hill, Sofia Capettini, Ava Funkhouser, and Michaela Reitsma of EcoVision are proud to win the 2014 Caring for our Watersheds (CFW) contest, brought to Central Alberta by Agrium Inc. and the Battle River Watershed Alliance. This group, supported by their teacher Steve Schultz, formed a sub-committee of EcoVision called LEAFS, short for Lacombe Educational Aquaponics Food System.

EcoVision came up with a creative answer to a very simple but profound question: 'What can you do to improve your watershed?'

"The goal of the project is to symbiotically grow fish and herbs for our school cafeteria in the most sustainable and watershed friendly way. We believe that our plan to build an Aquaponics system will encourage the community to grow their own food in a way that reduces the amount of water, nutrients, and chemicals needed and therefore reducing the impact on our watershed." announced the LEAFS team at the Caring for our Watersheds Final Competition.

As a result of their efforts, the LEAFS team won $1,000 for themselves and $1,000 for Lacombe Composite by placing first in the contest. To win, they researched their local watershed, identified an environmental concern, came up with a realistic solution and presented to community judges representing a variety of backgrounds and industries.

Over $15,000 was awarded in prizes, and an additional $10,000 is available to help implement the participant's ideas.

"The purpose of the contest is simple," says Lindsey Metheral, Agrium Program Advisor. "Our goal is to encourage students to learn about their local watershed and be inspired to make improvements to the land, air and water. With community and school support, we have seen the creativity and determination students have for protecting and preserving the environment. It's inspiring when they turn their ideas into reality."

"Over the years the community has shown great leadership in mentoring the students and helping them implement their ideas. Any of the 299 students who entered in 2014 contest can work towards making their idea happen. We are here to help them," said Nathalie Stanley, Education and Outreach Coordinator and the Battle River Watershed Alliance. "I can't wait to try some of LEAFS tilapia."

To schedule a media interview, please contact Nathalie Stanley directly at 780-672-0276.

Final Results

                                                          School,     Prize
 Place Student Names        Idea      School Division     Location    Amount
       Capettini, Ava                                      Ecole
        Funkhouser,   Aquaponics Food    Wolf Creek      Secondaire
   1    Tizita Hill,       System      Public Schools    Composite,   $1000
          Michaela                                        Lacombe
                        Hummingbird        Wisdom
   2    Isaac Boddy        Garden      Homeschooling     Forestburg    $900
   3    Tyler Elder         with        Battle River   Bashaw School,  $800
                        Xeriscaping                        Bashaw
                                                          A. Blair
   4   Simran Panesar   Toonies for   Edmonton Public    McPherson,    $700
                       Trees Campaign     Schools         Edmonton
   5   Jenelle Chen,      Compost     Edmonton Public   Junior High,   $600
       Christina Luu     Fertilizer       Schools         Edmonton
       Mark Cardinal,   Sustainable    Northland No.   Kateri School,
   6   Andrea Noskiye   Development          61          Trout Lake    $500
       Jared Chevrie,
          Mckaila                                     Notre Dame High
   7     Tunstall,        Cattail         Lakeland        School,      $450
        Desiree St.   Buffering Study     Catholic       Bonnyville
   8       Brogan        Education      Battle River   Bashaw School,  $400
         Middleton        Program                          Bashaw
      Ashley Bilhete,
   9      Judzeah        Electronic   Edmonton Public John D. Bracco,  $350
          Sagstuen       Recycling        Schools         Edmonton
                                                      Charlie Killam,
  10  Madyson Thomsen Water Recycling   Battle River      Camrose      $300
                         Acid Rain     Fort McMurray  Ecole McTavish,
  10    Maham Fatima     Awareness     Public Schools  Fort McMurray   $300

For more information please visit www.CaringForOurWatersheds.com

About Agrium:

Agrium Inc. is a major retail supplier of agricultural products and services in Australia and North and South America and a leading global producer and marketer of agricultural nutrients and industrial products. Agrium produces and markets three primary groups of nutrients: nitrogen, phosphate and potash as well as controlled release fertilizers and micronutrients. Agrium's strategy is to grow through incremental expansion of its existing operations and acquisitions as well as the development, commercialization and marketing of new products and international opportunities. Contact us at: www.agrium.com.

About the Battle River Watershed Alliance:

The Battle River Watershed Alliance (BRWA) is an inclusive, collaborative and consensus-based community partnership that is working to guide, support and deliver actions to sustain or improve the health of the Battle River watershed. We will seek to achieve this through knowledgeable community participation and an adaptive approach.

The Battle River Watershed Alliance is a group representing four orders of government (First Nations, municipal, provincial and federal), watershed groups, environmental organizations, industry, academia and private citizens in a collaborative initiative to plan for the sustainable management of land and water resources in the Battle River Watershed.

We're all part of a watershed, and what we do impacts downstream and future users. Learn more at: www.battleriverwatershed.ca

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