Students of South Park Family School help prepare the grounds to be turned into the South Park Garry Oak Meadow Wednesday.

Students of South Park Family School help prepare the grounds to be turned into the South Park Garry Oak Meadow Wednesday.

South Park students help build wildlife habitat

Children from South Park Family School are discovering how wildlife habitat can be found, not only in parks, but all around them.

Children from South Park Family School are discovering how wildlife habitat can be found, not only in parks, but all around them, including their school grounds.

The collaborative effort between the Habitat Acquisition Trust (HAT) and the school will, upon completion, see the school grounds become the South Park Garry Oak Meadow.

Wendy Tyrell, the Habitat management coordinator, is the driving force behind the project, but was is quick to credit the roughly 200 students from kindergarten to Grade 5 for the project’s success.

“The kids have been absolutely wonderful. They’ve been doing the site prep work and they just love getting dirty and learning while they’re at it,” said Tyrell.

South Park will be the 30th school to participate in HAT’s Green Spot Program in which HAT works to identify, and implement opportunities to maintain, enhance and expand natural areas at schools, while involving students and teaching them about the natural habitat.

On Wednesday morning, the school participated in planting native grasses, and 33 other species of flowers to complete the project. The day was augmented with traditional First Nations ceremonies honouring the work of the children and the community.

The project at South Park is particularly appropriate, given the unique nature of the school.

South Park was established as an alternative school in 1974 within School District 61, where parents are involved in every aspect of school life and where students take a far greater responsibility for their own learning. While it adhere’s to the standard B.C. school curriculum, the standard assessment tools are not utilized. Instead, children are encouraged to participate in a self-assessment process.

According to Tyrell, by restoring a Garry oak meadow on school grounds the children are learning much more that just gardening and the types of plants native to the meadow.

“This is an opportunity to learn about the 35 different species of plants native to Garry meadows, for sure, but it’s also a chance to learn how First Nations people used the meadows to feed themselves, and some history about how these meadows disappeared,” said Tyrell.

The children will also learn about insect life needed to pollinate the plants and the relationship between the flora and fauna of the region.

“This project is a great way of engaging our whole learning community, students, staff and parents, in meaningful hands-on learning,” said Sean McCartney, school principal, stressing  HAT has provided in-classroom instruction to the students and have led the weekly ‘digging parties’ to help get the meadow ready for planting.

“The kids have also had a hand in designing the rest of the grounds, and have worked collaboratively to place the pathways, play spaces and stumps and logs within the site…all with a unique value to the quality of use we’ll see when it’s all completed,” said Tyrell.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

Victoria Hospice staff Brianne Ohl, left, Angela Chalmers, right, and Sandi Ogloff, at back, show off their buttons that show a picture of them smiling. Staff has worked hard to maintain the connections with patients despite the barriers of PPE and rigid COVID-19 protocols. (Victoria Hospice Photo)
Hospice provides compassion in a time of COVID

Victoria Hospice 40th anniversary on pause during pandemic

Look for the Random Act of Kindness Day colouring contest in Black Press issues Jan. 17. Physical entries can be mailed or dropped off to local Black Press offices. A scanned or photographed entry can be emailed to info@victoriafoundation.bc.ca. Winning entries can get a $50 gift card to Bolen Books and a $100 donation to a charity of their choice from the VIctoria Foundation. (Pixabay)
Colouring contest coming for Kindness Day

Kindness Day colouring contest in partnership with Victoria Foundation

Sidney has moved the remaining parts of its public consultation phase part of the Official Community Plan online. (Black Press Media File)
Sidney moves to an ‘all online engagement’ process for OCP

Staff says OCP charrette scheduled for mid-February

(File photo)
‘Very lucky’: Two passengers, dog escape rollover crash in Saanich unscathed

Vehicle flips on Trans Canada Highway after hitting median, possibly due to ice, firefighter says

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (News Bulletin file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Nanaimo hospital

Two staff members and one patient have tested positive, all on the same floor

A long-term care worker receives the Pfizer vaccine at a clinic in Nanaimo earlier this month. (Island Health photo)
All Island seniors in long-term care will be vaccinated by the end of this weekend

Immunization of high-risk population will continue over the next two months

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

Comox Valley RCMP are looking for witnesses after the theft of a generator worth thousands of dollars. Photo supplied
RCMP asking Vancouver Island residents to watch for stolen generator

Vehicle may have been travelling on Highway 19

Most Read