A western toad sits on a log in a wetland.

Photo Credit: Robert Logan | Go Hiking

Typical Schoolyard? Not anymore!

Quadra Island Elementary is getting a makeover

Students will help restore the fields to their natural ecosystem

Do you ever wonder how different the areas we live in would look if we had kept our natural ecosystems instead of bulldozing them?

Quadra Island Elementary students won’t be wondering what their schoolyard would have looked like anymore.

They’re restoring it to its natural splendour.

On October 5th, students and community leaders will come together to transform the area into a bountiful wetland.

In partnership with the We Wei Kai First Nation, everyone will be planting native vegetation such as wild strawberries, trail blackberries, and Saskatoon berries while pulling invasive species from the site.

So not only will the area look much more beautiful, it will be a natural food source kiddos can learn about and snack from!

Miranda Cross is the project’s manager. “Teachers can go out every day, or once a week. From observing wildlife to studying the life cycles of amphibians… There’s a tremendous value, to having an ecosystem like a wetland right at a school,” she told the Campbell River Mirror.

Folks have already put in more than 100 hours on the project. Organizers got funds from the federal government and other donors like the BC Wildlife Federation and Climate Change Canada.

Besides the basic funding, Indigenous communities were also consulted to make sure the area is reseeded with the plants that will benefit it the most.

“There was an event at the site where we hosted a group of Elders, and asked for guidance, their consultation, and wisdom,” said Cross.

The grownups on the project aren’t the only ones who’ve been preparing for it either.

Students have been getting geared up for this moment all year long. Every class has explored different aspects of the wetland. They’ve learned about animals big and small, soil filtration, invasive species, environmental effects of wetlands and on wetlands and finally, how to restore a wetland.

“Our classes visited wetlands on Quadra and Cortez. We got to touch the sedges and cat tails, listen to the birds and the frogs, and see the beautiful pinky purple hardhack that lives in the inner ring of some wetlands,” Quadra Island Elementary said in a statement.

They thanked everyone for their involvement in bringing this remarkable experience into these kids’ everyday lives.

It’s awesome to see kids connecting with their roots (literally), and we can’t wait to see how everyone’s joint efforts come together to make this little slice of our world a whole lot better for everyone.