In June 2014 UTT adopted the Arima watershed with projects in the areas of water quality monitoring, reforestation, clean ups and public education and awareness. The University uses its Student Volunteer Center (SVC) as well as students from the Environmental Management Masters programme as the implementing arm for this project, which aims to provide the structure and avenue to promote an ethic of volunteerism in its students. So far, they have completed three months of water quality sampling at five sites along the Arima River.
They plan on continuing the water sampling to obtain one year of data and in addition, visit schools and do clean ups at the water sampling sites. UTT is funding the project themselves and have even partnered with another adopter in the watershed, the Caribbean Youth Environment Network Trinidad and Tobago Chapter (CYEN T&T) to expand the reach and support young people in the areas of volunteerism and advocacy.
Projects such as this contributes to young people’s sense of social responsibility while simultaneously building their skills in community engagement and service. The Adopt a River program is yet another way UTT plans to interact and engage members in their surrounding community, in the hope of accomplishing an integrated approach to the improvement of the Arima Watershed.