Sh’aura, 4 years old, wants you to come swim in her favourite waterbody: Georgian Bay.
More than 100 attendees at the Water Docs film festival took our Waterbody Challenge between March 22 and 29, including Sh’aura and her mom, Bree. We asked participants to tell us the name of their favourite waterbody. The stories we heard were amazing.
Many people told us that Lake Ontario is their favourite waterbody, which makes sense because it’s flowing past our doorstep. We drink it every day. It sustains 1 in 5 Canadians.
We heard stories about waterways represented by each of the nine Canadian Waterkeepers: Fraser River, North Saskatchewan River, Georgian Bay, Moose River, Ottawa River, Lake Ontario, Fundy Bay, Petitcodiac River, and Grand River (Labrador).
We heard about other waterways, too, ones that made impressions on people that lasted a lifetime. The smallest waterbody was a backyard pond. The biggest waterbody was the Pacific Ocean. The most distant waterbody was the Yangtze River. Every attendee had a different story to tell, and we were riveted.
Sh’aura was the youngest participant in the Waterbody Challenge. She told us Georgian Bay is her current favourite -
“Because I love it, we get to play on the rocks and go fishing. Maybe one day, we could take you swimming in Georgian Bay.”
We loved Sh’aura’s story because she reminds us that our connection to water starts when we’re young. For some of us, our first memories of water are celebrations of nature. For others, the lack of access to clean water leaves a lasting impression.
We also loved Sh’aura’s story because she instinctively did what most people do: tried to share the waterbody she loves with others. She invited us to her Bay, to see what she sees, and to enjoy what she enjoys. The joy of shared exploration is the foundation of the Waterbody Challenge. Sh’aura captured it perfectly.
This is a year-long experiment to learn more about the role water plays in your life. Each month, we design a fun water-related Challenge. If you do it, you can share your story with us. We’ll feature inspiring stories over the course of the year. By next World Water Day we will have amassed a variety of stories from across the watershed and, hopefully, learned a lot about waterways in the process.
What’s next, you ask?
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Sign up here. You will receive monthly updates with your new challenge and stories about other participants.