Wildflower School has been actively participating in a wetland restoration project at Duck Bay near Lakeside Park, Nelson. On April 21st, the youth will be back out with a planting party of native species, invasive plant pulling and the official unveiling of the educational sign that was guided, designed and created by Janet Cook’s grade 7,8,9 class. This sign illustrates the important ecological significance that Wetlands have to the land, lake, wildlife and you! Join the collaborative team from Wildsight, Friends of Kootenay Lake Stewardship Society, Central Kootenay Invasive Species Society (CKISS) and Wildflower School for this fun celebratory event.
“Know Your Watershed” is a regionally-based Columbia Basin Trust program, which is offered throughout the Basin. The program, administered and delivered by Wildsight, supports students in learning where their water comes from, how it is used and affected as it moves through their community, and what happens to it after they have used it. Through classroom visits and a full-day field trip the students understand how they are all connected by water in the Columbia Basin. In Nelson, the Wildflower Middle School students from Janet Cook’s class toured the municipal watershed with Know Your Watershed educator, Monica Nissen.
Local stewardship groups were partners in the learning as well- Claire de la Salle, from Friends of Kootenay Lake Stewardship Society, and Raegan Mallinson, from Living Lakes Canada, offered expertise on efforts to monitor and conserve water quality in Kootenay Lake, and on the value of wetlands, in filtering water, supporting water quality, and also providing habitat for many important species of flora and fauna.
Students in the Wildflower Middle School class decided to ‘adopt’ Duck Bay, in Kootenay Lake, and to focus additional learning activities and stewardship projects on this area. They worked with community partners to learn about this section of the lakeshore, and about the adjoining wetland. One field day was a ‘wetland discovery day’ which involved learning about the impact of invasive species, with Laurie Frankcom from CKISS, planting native trees with Thor Smestad from TreeBear Ecological Services, and learning about lake water quality sampling protocols with Claire and Raegan. Local artist and graphic designer, Catherine McIntosh supported students’ learning about how to do scientific drawings of the local flora and fauna, and to represent their art in the form of an interpretive sign. The City of Nelson supported the students by inviting them to post their sign at Duck Bay for public-awareness-raising. A group of students also designed and carried out a scientific study, collecting water quality data to examine the impacts storm drain runoff on water quality in the lake. This data will be incorporated into longer-term research that will also investigate the value of constructed wetlands in mitigating the effects of storm drain runoff.
The Wildflower students who participated in this Know Your Watershed project have helped to inform new directions for the program, by piloting an extended, cross-curricular project-based learning experience. Their work will be highlighted at this community event and sign unveiling at Duck Bay on April 21st.
Come be a part of the action and celebration,
Dig your hands in the dirt this Earth Day!
Where: Pavilion at Lakeside Park, Soccer Fields
What: Wetland Sign unveiling and Shoreline Restoration (Planting of Native Species).