Exercise: Get To Know Your Watershed

“Loving our place” is uttered a lot at A Rocha. What is unsaid but certainly underlies that phrase is this reflection by Steven Bouma Prediger: “We care for only what we love, we love only what we know, and we know only what we experience.”

This exercise aims to help us care for the places we live in—our watersheds*—by funneling our attention to its unique characteristics. We start with questions around our human systems that deal with household materials, then end with questions that introduce us to our ecosystem and non-human neighbours. Enjoy!

  1. Where does the recycling in your area go to?

  2. How is organic waste managed in your area?

  3. What happens to wastewater in your area?

  4. Where does the electricity in your home come from?

  5. What direction do heavy rains or winter storms generally come from in your area?

  6. What plant growing locally is known for treating fever, colds, or respiratory ailments?

  7. What plants in your area are poisonous?

  8. List three types of edible berries of your area.

  9. Name five native plants that are common in your area.

  10. Name 3 birds in your area that are migratory and 3 that stay year-round.

Venture out and learn more about your watershed with these questions, and we hope they inspire more questions along the way!

*Watersheds are land areas in which all its water (on the surface and underground) drain into the same outflow point at a lower elevation. Watersheds are important ecological concepts because of how our actions make an impact within and downstream from the watershed, particularly river systems.

Featured photo: sterlinglanier Lanier on Unsplash 

Read about our watershed moments

Do you live near one of our centres? Read our responses to these questions as we created our own “watershed moments”:

  1. Surrey, British Columbia
  2. Winnipeg, Manitoba
  3. Hamilton, Ontario