On May 28th, Stelly's Secondary School's Global Perspectives classes joined Habitat Acquisition Trust for a day of local action against the global threat of habitat loss. Removing huges swaths of invasive, toxic Daphne Laureola plants, the Grade 11 students fought back against the homogenizing force of weeds to allow the biodiverse nature ecosystems found at Oak Haven Park to remain in a more natural state.
The dozens of students and several teachers took time on their Pro-D Day to give back to their community. Local Biologist and rare plant specialist Matt Fairbarns also gave his time to take the students on educational walks through the park. Surrounded by delightfully blooming Shooting Stars, Saxifrage, Blue-eyed Mary and many other wildflowers the students learned about the climatic and cultural history that allowed for Garry Oaks to take their foothold here on Vancouver Island and their dynamic with Douglas Fir ecosystems. Students also go to experience the taste of native Miner's Lettuce and exotic Bittercress, as an introductory forray into edible plants.
At the end of the day we were able to clear a large part of the forest understory of Daphne, lessening its encroachment towards more sensitive areas of the park. The Stelly's classes went away with a better understanding of our natural history, a healthy dose of active education, and pride in giving back to the community. Plus a few native seed packets sponsored by Saanich Native Plants, as a token of Habitat Acquisition Trust's appreciation.
Working with young learners and building a sense of connection to local parks are both important aspects of achieving our mission to protect nature. We can make these partnerships and activities happen thanks to individual donors like yourself. If you would like to see more of this work, please make a gift today at http://hat.bc.ca/donate.