Learning with constructed wetlands in Pelly Crossing

A model wetland was built in the Eliza Van Bibber School in Pelly Crossing and used as a tangible, visual learning tool that supported high school students in understanding how mother nature can purify water. This module was delivered to the students each week, enhancing and complimenting sciences courses already delivered to the students.

The objective of this project was to help students learn how constructed wetlands can be used to purify water and their use at mine sites. Students measured, collected, and analyzed water samples, compared soil samples of constructed versus natural wetlands, and learned what is needed to make a healthy wetland.

The students helped construct the wetlands to use them as a tool to learn about a range of topics:

  •  Water quality analysis
  •  Traditional knowledge
  •  Environment assessment
  •  Holistic approaches to mine closure
  •  Water quality monitoring
  •  Plant health monitoring
  •  Soil microbiology
  •  Data reporting

Research suggests that constructed wetlands can remove heavy metals from mine water and that this technique is a natural and cost effective long-term environmental solution. SFN youth learned how science and Traditional Knowledge can be combined to benefit their community. These students learned about a technique that supports sustainable mining while giving them knowledge, skills, and a window into the world of science.


Yukon College

Selkirk First Nation,

Eliza Van Bibber School

Yukon Mine Research Consortium


Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)

Yukon Mine Research Consortium (YMRC)