On a beautiful sunny Friday, community volunteers came out to help reinstalls the Streams of Dreams mural.
After being relocated due to construction, the student made mural made of individually painted wooden fish has sat in storage until the City recently gave artist Maureen Lebourdais the go-ahead to put them back up. With the help of volunteers, Labourdais mounted the fished on the chain link fence beside Kiwanis Park.
“These fish were painted by children at the Children’s Festival and also Aboriginal Day a couple of years ago, but the fence has been moved. When they redid the (Cariboo Memorial) community complex, we had to take down the fish, but now the city’s given us the nod to put them back up again,” Labourdais said. “We’ve had a few volunteers come up and twist a few wires every now and then, as well as a few kids coming up and remembering when they painted these fish at the Children’s Festival a couple of years ago, so it’s been a good day.”
Lebourdais said that the Stream of Dreams mural is part of a nationwide program designed educate them on watershed protection. It teaches students at the elementary level about the importance of not dumping waste fluids like cooking oil, antifreeze and other environmentally damaging liquids down drains.
The program first started when an elementary class in Vancouver undertook a stream restoration project and painstakingly cleaned the stream, successfully restoring it to its natural state. Shortly after, however, an unknown individual poured an unknown substance down a nearby storm drain which, according to Lebourdais, killed the creek and all its fish within three hours.
According to Lebourdais the mural and a handful of others like it scattered throughout Williams Lake, are supposed to raise awareness that drains, be they kitchen’s, street or intended for stormwater, all eventually lead back to a fish habitat.
“I think it’s more important than ever that people are reminded and learn that fish and human beings, we share the same habitats, the same water, the same air and that its cleanliness is important to all of us,” Lebourdais declared.
She added that she hopes to see more watershed awareness events hosted within the community and hopes new fish joins the mural as “we have plenty of fence available.”