For immediate release
FREDERICTON (April 22, 2005) – A team of students from Fredericton that is helping to restore New Brunswick’s native bur oak tree in the Saint John River Valley has been selected to travel to Sweden as finalists for the Volvo Adventure Award.
The students and their leader, Ralph Simpson, are members of the Fredericton Chapter of Children’s International Summer Villages (CISV) - Environment Group. They will travel to Göteborg, Sweden, May 6-10, to participate in the Volvo Adventure conference finals. The students who will represent Canada are: Patrick Simpson (14), Jack Simpson (12), Matthew Nickerson (12), Morgan Yeates (11), and Clara Simpson (10). They will join 14 other teams from across the globe, including entries from Australia, China, Columbia, Kenya, Turkey, United Kingdom and the United States. The teams will present their work to a panel of judges who will award funding to the top three groups to help them achieve their environmental goals.
The Volvo Adventure is an international education program for young people between 10 and 16 years of age, developed by Volvo Car Corporation in partnership with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). It is designed to promote environmental awareness and encourage local environmental activities among young people.
“I heartily commend the students and their team leader for their efforts in helping to preserve part of our natural environment for future generations, and congratulate them for being selected as finalists for this international award,” said Paul Cummings, president and chief executive officer of Volvo Cars of Canada Ltd. “They are an inspiration to all of us.”
“Who knew, when we started the bur oak project, that we would gain international attention? We were just planting trees in our own city,” said Simpson, Team Leader of the Fredericton CISV Environment Group. “I am thrilled that the students have been recognized for their commitment and determination to make a difference in their environment.”
The group has planted over 200 native bur oak trees throughout Fredericton. The students had to learn about seed production and identification, the collection of acorns in the fall, as well as greenhouse and planting techniques. They were assisted by researchers and technicians at the Canadian Forest Service. Ongoing plans for the project include monitoring and cultivation over the next two years to track results and to replace any trees that don’t survive. In addition, the team will produce a brochure detailing their efforts and to encourage ongoing support and interest in the preservation of the bur oak tree and its habitat.
The once-plentiful bur oak, native to the Saint John River Valley, has become threatened by human activity in the region. Identified as an important flood plain species for its high tolerance to a wide range of soil and moisture conditions, the bur oak also helps to stabilize the soil with its deep root system, purify the air and provide a food source and nesting area for animals.
Children’s International Summer Villages is an independent, non-political volunteer organization promoting peace, education and cross-cultural friendship. Environmental awareness is a part of CISV’s education circle and the Fredericton Chapter has a strong environmental group that is involved in activity-based projects such as trail and stream clean-up, planting trees, stream conservation and the general preservation of nature. For more information, visit the website at: www.cisv.ca .
Volvo Cars of Canada Ltd. is part of the Volvo Car Corporation of Göteborg, Sweden. The company provides marketing, sales, parts, service, technology and training support to the 43 Volvo automobile retailers across the country. The company’s product range includes the flagship S80 luxury sedan, the versatile V70 wagon, the S60 sports sedan, and an XC-line of vehicles that includes the rugged XC70 and the award-winning XC90 sport utility vehicle. For 2005, the company is introducing the completely redesigned S40 sports sedan and V50 sportswagon, providing performance for a new generation.
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