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Junior Streamkeepers make a difference at Campbell River pond

Campbell River students got their hands dirty planting native plants

“We can make a difference! We can make a difference! We can make a difference!”

After they finished planting native plants, trees and cleaning up garbage around a pond off Treelane Road in Campbell River, a group of grade 2 and 3 students from Ripple Rock Elementary School chanted those words in celebration.

The kids were there thanks to a coordination between the school, Greenways Land Trust and the City of Campbell River as part of the Greenways Land Trust Junior Streamkeepers program, which has local students come to watersheds to take care of and make a difference to the environment.

“Kids really engage with with these sorts of things, they really remember them,” said City of Campbell River Liquid Waste manager Glenn Ketchum. “The kids really enjoy it they learn a lot and honestly, they are very well educated on what’s going on here.”

The students were shown how to plant a native plant, which involves removing it from its pot, digging a hole, massaging the root system, and placing it into the ground. Kids were split into groups of three and given free reign to plant in a designated area. As an added bonus, they got to come up with names for their plants. One plant was named “Sweet Apple Cream,” while another was “Pumpkin Pie.”

“(The plants) do several things,” Ketchum said. “The bigger trees provide shade, that helps with temperature control. The smaller ones and in the trees as well give refuge for all of the ground animals insects pollinators and the birds and give shade for the reptiles.”

After their initial plants were in the ground and tagged, the eager students returned to Fitzpatrick, who led them around the pond to plant bigger trees, including pines and some deciduous species. The locations of these were chosen specifically to help prevent bank erosion and keep the area around the pond from sliding into the water during heavy rains.

As a final bit of unscripted environmentalism, the kids used some of their energy to pick up garbage from the site.

The Greenways Land Trust Junior Streamkeepers EcoAction program is funded by Environment and Climate Change Canada.

RELATED: Greenways Junior Streamkeepers help with habitat enhancement

Campbell River creek gets TLC from local ecology champions

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