Lilian Hartley

Saving Ontario Waters

Orchard Park P.S.

My project is about preventing phosphorus from getting into Ontario lakes from fertilizers on farmers’ fields. I studied how plants grow with, and without fertilizers that contain phosphorus in hopes that I could prove that using phosphorus in fertilizers isn’t worthwhile. When phosphorus runoff from the fields gets into the lakes, it creates blue-green algae. We would be better off without phosphorus used in agriculture.


My name is Lillian Hartley. I’m a grade student attending Orchard Park PS. I enjoy rowing and skiing as seasonal sports. Year round, I play piano, competing in Kiwanis, and flute recreationally. I also take part in low levels of first aid training, like bronze star, medallion, and cross in hopes that someday I might become a lifeguard. This upcoming September I’ll begin my post secondary schooling, and will attend Sir Frederick Banting SS, as I hear they have an excellent rowing team. As of now, I row with the London Rowing Club at Fanshawe Lake. At the beginning of each season, coaches tell us to try not to flip our boats, since the waters are so contaminated with blue-green algal blooms. That’s what inspired me to do this project. Every time I row, I risk my health and safety due to the algae, and that has to change. If I were to do this project again, I would grow more plants for better clarification of results, and vary the amounts of fertilizer I used. For students thinking of doing a project, do it! As I was once told, “Science Fairs open doors you never knew existed”, and that’s true.