Jewel Irving talks to council on her subject: ‘My Second Home’. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)

LCS students talk to Lake Cowichan council about PlaceMaking projects

How to make Lake Cowichan more attractive to young folks: that is the question, students say.

Lake Cowichan school students Keely MacDonald and Jewel Irivng told town councillors Nov. 28 about what they see as useful ways to make their school and community more their own.

They also spoke at the Cowichan Theatre Thursday as part of the Valley-wide student PlaceMaking project.

Keely MacDonald, in an address entitled What is Vancouver Island’s Best Kept Secret? spoke about her town, pointing out that “The area is 8.5 km around and has a population of 3013. It’s beautiful Lake Cowichan, home of the second most pristine lake in B.C. This lake is 30 km long and up to 520 feet deep. Lake Cowichan is one of many small communities surrounding the lake. As of 2016 there are over 600 people that are 65 and older in Lake Cowichan so for every one person under 65 there are five people over 65. That being said, Lake Cowichan is being labelled as a great retirement community. We don’t want that. Why? Because we have an equal or greater amount of youth in the community. There are 420 people from 0-14 and from the ages 15-19 we have 216 people. Ever five years, those numbers increase by 5.6 per cent. That being said, for the 685 youth, there’s not a lot to do.”

She suggested that while such things as drop-ins at the arena and special events may be great, they don’t happen often enough.

“A lot of buildings in this town seem to be run down or abandoned making this town not as lively as it should be,” she said.

Jewel Irving spoke on the school and its environs, “our second home”, and said her class had taken a walkabout and discovered that in one area near the school, bushes had invaded the sidewalk to the point where disabled students had to go out into the road to get by.

They cleared it away.

Another idea was making a rainbow crosswalk at the school to celebrate diversity among students, and Irving also suggested that a transit bus stop placed near the high school would be helpful for students.

Lake Cowichan councillors were clearly delighted by the presentations, with Mayor Ross Forrest thanking the girls for stepping up and making their ideas known to public officials, and especially for taking action on clearing encroaching blackberries from the sidewalk, a situation that he said, “opened my eyes.”

Coun. Tim McGonigle thanked Irving for her class’s “boots on the ground” all-action approach to problems.

MacDonald asked councillors about forming some kind of student-level town council.

Council has been trying for years to interest the kids at Lake Cowichan School in town politics, and Forrest told her that if she could come up with enough students to make up a council, she’d find that he and his colleagues were more than willing to show them how it all works.

Just Posted

Cowichan peewee girls win home tournament

Capitals face toughest test so far against Tri-Port

Lake Flashback: Firefighters parade, water meters roll out, and Lakers protest hockey goons

Hockey at the Lake used to be exciting, but in 1979 the action got a bit over the top

Have you seen missing Duncan teen Cera Qwulshemut?

15-year-old First Nations girl missing from in front of Shoppers Drug Mart

VIDEO: Water treatment delays becoming ridiculous, Peters says

Lake Cowichan has been kept waiting long enough: it’s time to finish the job: Peters

Cowichan Lake Elder Care Society hosting fundraiser

Buy a burger and a beer, get a seniors care facility

Scheer, Trudeau, Singh haggle over potential minority government outcome

If you believe the polls, it appears the Liberals and Conservatives are neck-and-neck

Canucks beat Stanley Cup champs 4-3 in a shootout

Leivo nets winner, Vancouver dumps St. Louis for fourth straight win

Campbell River homicide suspects arrested in Vancouver

Two men remain in custody, but have not been charged

‘The more you test, the more you find’: Beef recalls a sign of success, experts say

Despite appearances, experts say a recent rise in major recalls is not a sign of food supply problems

With $4M investment, Camosun College offers first sonography program on Vancouver Island

Starting in May 2020 students from Vancouver Island can pursue a career in sonography

Scooter rider suffers life-threatening injuries in crash in Nanaimo

One person airlifted to hospital in Victoria after collision on Wall Street on Thursday

Elizabeth May confirms plan to eliminate fish farming in open ocean pens

Green Party leader stops in Qualicum Beach as part of Island campaign

STRIKE: WFP and USW are back at the table for mediation

“No further updates until either an agreement is reached or one party or the other breaks off talks”

Green Party leader Elizabeth May rolls through Vancouver Island to boost a party stronghold

Mocks media, evokes Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and promises change

Most Read