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Location: Fraser River Basin, Fraser Basin from Vancouver to Prince George and including many tributaries.
Our goal for the 2008 Stream of Dreams Fraser Basin Project is to help at least 5000 Fraser Basin residents understand their connection to the Fraser River and the health of its salmon, to encourage them to share their new knowledge with family and friends, to inspire them all to make behavioral changes to protect water quality for salmon and people in the Fraser Basin, and to bring awareness to the larger community through display of 15 or more Stream of Dreams salmon murals on fences and through related media coverage.
For each project, community volunteers prepare wooden fish to be used at the two-part science and art workshops. The first half is a presentation on the local watershed and its connection to the Fraser River and the ocean, and how drainage systems connect to salmon habitat. We use stories, posters, maps, 3-D models, air photos and other props to give participants their sense of place and of their potential impact on Fraser salmon. Classes learn how they are connected through storm drains (rain drains), sanitary and septic system, runoff and groundwater and learn that changing behaviors such as car washing and reducing or eliminating use of toxic substances will improve the quality of the water for the salmon.
The second part of the workshop is an art session where each participant paints a wooden fish, a Dreamfish. Fish posters and fish art surround students in the art room, to inspire their painting, and a collection of books on salmon and other aquatic creatures is provided for further education and inspiration.
When all participants have painted their fish, usually an entire elementary school, a trained Stream of Dreams artist designs a single work of art made up of all the individual fish onto the school or community fence. This public community art is displayed for at least 5 years.
Our target group is mainly students and staff of elementary schools and occasionally middle schools. The message of water protection for Fraser salmon also reaches the parents through their children and school newsletters. We also seek to engage the larger community through the presentation of the artwork and media coverage. Festival presentations engage festival attendees of all ages.