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Greenways Land Trust helps students start native plant seeds

Plants to be grown near Campbell River stormwater basin

This month, Greenways Land Trust is working with students from Southgate Middle School and Ripple Rock Elementary to grow native pollinator-friendly plants starting at the very beginning: the seed.

The program is part of Greenways’ Junior Streamkeepers program, which has the support of Environment and Climate Change Canada as well as the City of Campbell River’s community partnership grant.

Greenways Land Trust Education Coordinator Kyle Fitzpatrick was on hand Tuesday (Jan. 24) at Southgate Middle School to help students start the seeds that will one day be planted at the Denman Pond stormwater management site.

“By caring for the native plants and then taking them and transplanting them into suitable habitat, the hope is that they’ll make a connection where they then care more about the native plants that grow in the natural spaces in Campbell River,” Fitzpatrick said.

Students could choose one of 12 plant species. They collected a few seeds and a cupful of soil and brought it back to their desks. There they scratched small furrows into the soil, dropped the seeds in and tamped them down a bit. After adding labels, the plants were finished.

The students and teacher at the school will work to keep the seedlings alive until the spring when they’ll be planted at the Denman Street pond.

“I think it’s really great for them to figure out where plants come from,” said teacher Kim Zumach. She added that it’s important for students “to know that they’re important for the ecosystem, and how native species really rely on these plants that have evolved with the ecosystem.

“I think it’s really important for them to have that sort of understanding of the whole cycle. It’s also good for them to get their hands dirty and actually feel like they’re contributing to their Community,” she said. “These plants will go back out into an area that they’re familiar with, they’ll bring in pollinators and be good for the restoration work.”

The next phase will take place likely in June, depending on the weather.

RELATED: Greenways Junior Streamkeepers help with habitat enhancement

Greenways Land Trust launches Junior Streamkeepers project

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