On November 17th, 2016, over 45 students from École Marigold Elementary School broke ground naturescaping a garden of their very own, a habitat-focused learning space created through the Green Spots school program by Habitat Acquisition Trust (HAT).
“By creating something positive to focus on in the midst of this large McKenzie Interchange construction project, we are bringing student’s attention to what they can do for our remaining Garry Oak habitats. The students are very passionate about nature on their school grounds and want to ensure it stays protected.” - Paige Erickson-McGee, HAT Stewardship Coordinator.
Empowering young learners to care for nature, students prepared the site for this naturally-inspired meadow, and enthusiastically removed invasive English Ivy from Garry Oak habitat at the school.
In a collaboration between HAT, Marigold Elementary, and the District of Saanich, the students of Marigold gleefully discovered how wildlife habitat can be found and nurtured all around them, even at school.
The Ministry of Transportation allowed a salvage of native plants within the interchange construction area with salvaged Fawn Lily bulbs planted into the garden afterward.
Wildflowers like camas, fawn lilies, and native grasses that once flourished under the majestic Garry oaks of Marigold’s fields were brought back by the students, and with bees and butterflies in mind, children sipped on Licorice Fern tea. Marigold’s new meadow offers learning opportunities for many. Pollinators, seasonal changes, and Indigenous uses for plants are just a few learning opportunities.
HAT coordinates this project through their free outdoor learning program, Green Spots, funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and Province of BC’s Community Gaming Grant.
Click read more below for the list of native plants used for this project.