May 31 marked a historic day for the future of Western Academy of Beijing's iconic Duck Lake. Faculty, students and members of the school community celebrated the successful start of clean-up operations with a ceremony that unveiled the advanced on-site water treatment equipment donated by Lucy Liu, a WAB parent and owner of Beijing OriginWater. This was an exciting first step in the transformation of Duck Lake into a thriving ecosystem and a valuable learning tool for WAB students.
"The opening of our new filtration system is the culmination of efforts from our entire community," WAB Director Courtney Lowe said. "This is an inspirational learning opportunity for our students - beyond the science and ethical responsibilities of water usage, it is a prime example of how collaboration and synergy can help us tackle any challenge and make a difference in the world."
WAB honored the community who invested in the future of Duck Lake in a variety of ways. Launched at the WAB Gala in the fall of 2016, the Fund for Education and Environment of Duck Lake, or FEED, raised 480,000 RMB in fundraising efforts and 1.4 million RMB through donations from seven WAB families. Their legacy will forever be part of our campus on an engraved stone next to Duck Lake.
"WAB is a loving, caring and supportive family," Lucy Liu said at the ceremony. "The school's work with parents for Duck Lake will have a long-term effect on the WAB community, protecting health and raising awareness of water sustainability. This is a great life experience for our children."
The event was held in signature WAB style in the High School garden with a lion dance and signing ceremony. WAB Founder Michael Crook was in attendance, as well as school leadership and WAB Board members, who took canoeing trips out onto the water, foreshadowing one of the many opportunities that will become available with a cleaner lake.
Duck Lake is a major symbol of WAB's school community and culture. Emily Yuan, Kuan-Ting Liu and Danny Du, members of the High School student group to protect and clean the lake, spoke about its history and future. Danny said his vision of the campus lake has never been brighter:
"Students are now discussing what will happen when – and not if – the lake is clean."