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Guelph high school hosts its first-ever Eco Fair

About 15 booths were on site, with students, teachers and community organizations all taking part in an event focused on sustainable and eco-friendly living

Hundreds of students got an environmental lesson John F. Ross CVI won't soon forget.

The school's first-ever Eco Fair took place Friday afternoon, to teach students how to become more sustainable in their community, and explore different vendors on site.

It was a student-run event, with Grade 11 students Kiera Walker and Jalele Noori leading the effort as part of their student leadership class.

"Throughout COVID-19, a lot of students kind of forgot about Earth and how to take care of the Earth," Noori said. "And moving into high school, there was lots of trash everywhere, we saw masks everywhere, and not many people caring for the environment or how to become sustainable individuals."

He added with John F. Ross being the most populated high school in Guelph, it was important to provide the education to as many people as possible.

About 15 booths were on site, representing both students and teachers, as well as organizations in the Guelph community, including Royal City Science, Fill It Forward, Kirtida's Kitchen and more.

About 20 teachers volunteered for the event, which has been in the works since September.

One of the staff advisors for the class, Chantale Zongor, said the school's always been fairly eco-conscious, but is noticing with the state of the world, students are becoming more concerned about it too.

"I think it's something that more students are feeling strongly about, and I don't think it's just like a catchphrase," she said. "It's starting to become a part of their culture."

Sticking with the eco theme, students were also able to plant trees in a patch of grass beside the football field.

It's not the first year this has gone on, but trees made up of about 45 different species will grow in the spot on Stevenson Street North. 

But as for the fair, could this be the first of what turns into an annual event at the school?

"We started it, so hopefully it continues with new generations coming into the school, and hopefully the purpose continues too, and our mission statement and everything," Walker said.