Despite the gray skies and constant drizzle, a group of Gr. 4 students and their families took time out of their busy Saturday to venture out to Adam Kerr Park (in Saanichton, on Keating Cross Road and Central Saanich Road) to help plant trees with Ian and me.
Students from Lochside, Cordova and Keating Elementary schools attended the early afternoon event to plant red alder trees from our Peninsula Co-op sponsored Gr. 3 Alder Tree Program. Every spring, we give each Gr. 3 student in SD63 an alder seedling to grow and take care of over their summer holidays. In the fall, we invite the students to take part in a planting event at a creek-side location in their area. This year’s planting locations included Reay Creek Park (in Sidney), a private property in North Saanich (through which Chalet Creek flows), Adam Kerr Park (through which Tetayut Creek flows), and a small park a few minutes from Prospect Lake Elementary (through which a recently day-lighted section of Wray Creek flows).
As each student arrived (most with younger siblings, parents and grandparents in tow), we armed them with a tree and shovel and they got to work planting their tree along the bank of the creek. Reed canary grass has grown to great heights in many places, but even so, we discovered alder trees planted in years past amongst it. It is our hope that these trees will continue to grow and eventually shade out the reed canary grass.
A second planting event happened later in the day with Prospect Lake students. One of our long-time volunteers, Mary Haig-Brown from the Friends of Tod Creek Watershed, led this event. (Thank you, Mary!)
These planting events are only one component of the Gr. 3 environmental education program that Peninsula Streams delivers to SD63 schools every year. We also visit each and every school in the spring to deliver a presentation to each Gr. 3 class.
We use our super-cool waterproof watershed model to teach about watersheds, water pollution and pollution prevention. We teach about the Pacific Salmon Life-cycle and we give each Gr. 3 student a tree!
We have been delivering this program free-of-charge to Gr. 3 classes in the district since 2006, and hope to continue the program for years to come.
A big thank you to all of the students and families who attended…and the creek thanks you too!