Cochrane Guides are raising awareness of stormwater through the Yellowfish Project

The award-winning Yellow Fish Road program aims to prevent pollutants such as soap, fertilizer, litter, dirt, oil, pet droppings, and construction materials from entering storm drains.

Glenbow residents may have been surprised to see their quiet neighborhood taken over on the evening of May 12 by a crew of environmental guides, armed with paintbrushes and raising awareness for water conservation.

In cooperation with Trout Unlimited Canada, the local branch of 1St Cochrane guides have been drawing fish stencils next to rainwater streams throughout the neighborhood. The initiative aims to remind residents that whatever is discharged eventually goes into local waterways, and has a direct negative impact on fish and other aquatic habitats.

“It’s so much fun, drawing the fish,” said 10-year-old Mia Davis. “We got a little bit of paint on each other.”

She added that it was all for a good cause.

“It’s very important, so people don’t put soap and stuff in sewers and hurt the fish,” Davies said. “If you put the bad stuff down the drain, the fish might die. The fish can be poisoned.”

Trout Unlimited door hangers have also been distributed by guides around the neighborhood, containing information about the dangers of pesticides, dog feces, car wash detergents and other contaminants that can seep into rainwater drains.

Trout Unlimited is a charitable organization whose mission is to conserve, protect, and restore Canada’s freshwater ecosystems for current and future generations.

The award-winning Yellow Fish Road program aims to prevent pollutants such as soap, fertilizer, litter, dirt, oil, pet droppings, and construction materials from entering storm drains.

The program connects learning with work and provides curriculum links and badges for young people from Kindergarten to Grade 9. Participants learn about the impact of pollution and the steps they can take to protect their local waters.

They can then take action by drawing yellow fish symbols with the words “Rain Only” by storm drains and distributing fish-shaped informational brochures to nearby families reminding people that “only rain goes down the drain.”

To date, the program has reached more than 1 million people with door relationships in hundreds of communities across Canada.

Su Davies, District Commissioner of the Local Guides Branch (also known as “Fluffy Sparkles”) pulled out her counts armed with paint supplied by Trout Unlimited and maps from the town of Cochrane on May 12.

“Most of the modern areas of Cochrane, as I confirm by the city, have fish in their rainwater drains already. But the older neighborhoods do not.”

“It’s a reminder to the public that whatever you put there, other than rainwater, will have a detrimental impact on the environment.”

Stormwater in Cochrane drains into the Bow River, Beagle Creek and Jumping Pound Creek.

Registration for Guides will open soon at girlguides.ca.

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