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

Column: Simple Santa letter a timeless treasure

Little Billy Plant knew exactly what he wanted and he matter-of-factly asked for it, too.

Column: Idea for North Cowichan: Invest local funds into local sustainability projects

If successful, we will build a new community biofuel pump

Patient pops in to Cowichan Hospital to give gift from the heart

Operation Popcorn delivering to 29 hospitals this year

Ladysmith woman fundraises for sister, family left homeless by Chemainus fire

A Ladysmith woman is raising money for family members left homeless after… Continue reading

Professional reliance model: what do you think?

Model review part of deal for Green Party to support NDP government

VIDEO: All aboard the Christmas train at the BC Forest Discovery Centre

The Christmas Train at the BC Forest Discovery Centre in Duncan is… Continue reading

Cowichan Coffee Time: Donations and fundraising success

• Treasurer Cyndy Dinter of the Auxiliary to Cowichan District Hospital recently… Continue reading

Court denies WestJet’s bid to toss out discrimination lawsuit of former worker

Mandalena Lewis is suing WestJet over allegations of gender-based discrimination

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

VIDEO: 3 months later, rescued sea lion released back into ocean

The young animal was found in Campbell River three months ago

Accused B.C. drug smuggler to be extradited

Supreme Court of Canada upholds extradition order for accused Shuswap drug smuggler, Colin Martin

One convicted, two cleared in 2014 deaths of men in B.C.’s Cariboo

Andrew Jongbloets convicted of manslaughter in deaths of Matthew Hennigar, 23 and Kalvin Andy, 22

Firefighter dies, thousands more take on California blaze

This is second death linked to the Thomas fire, northwest of Los Angeles

AHUS patient Shantee Anaquod is home for Christmas

Less than a month after receiving first dose of $750K drug, 23 year old healthy enough to go home

Most Read