Beeing Thankful for Nature's Pollinators
The Community Foundation of Whistler supports hands-on environmental learning for local students
A living classroom provides students with the chance to apply what they learn in class to the world around them.
Creating a Bee & Butterfly Garden in their school’s backyard sounds like a fun way to learn and the students of Valleycliffe Elementary had no qualms about getting outside and getting their hands dirty (quite literally).
The living classroom project is an ideal community partnership involving the students, parents and teachers of Valleycliffe Elementary School; the Squamish River Watershed Society; Sea to Sky Invasive Species Council, Quest University, and the Beekeeping Club at Quest.
Together, they transformed a field at the Valleycliffe School into a living classroom that supports bees, provides healthy food and learning opportunities for the community.
Teams of students and volunteers planted flowers and native trees and shrubs. The classroom teaches the community about native pollinators, the impact of pesticides and herbicides on pollinators, gardening, soils and the water cycle, invasive species, and access to locally and sustainably produced food.
Over 75 parents, volunteers and children attended the “Bee Thankful Celebration” at Valleycliffe School in October 2014. Together they planted 415 native trees and shrubs.
Volunteers also enhanced areas on the campus at Quest University by planting bee-friendly native plants. Quest students took the lead on organizing the planting on campus, including obtaining approval from administration to ground preparation.
Over 150 students and community participants planted 1347 trees, shrubs and flowers at Quest University.
We can’t wait to see how this idea spread to other schools! The Orchard Mason Bee & Butterfly Garden project was supported with an Environmental Legacy Grant.