Nature enthusiasts in Mission have something to celebrate.
Last week, wetland enhancement projects occurred at both Silverdale Wetlands and Dewdney Elementary School during the delivery of a week-long Wetlands Institute workshop hosted by the BC Wildlife Federation (BCWF).
Participants came from all around BC to attend the seven-day-long intensive wetland stewardship workshop, offered for free to those who have a wetland project.
Each year, the BCWF hosts the Wetlands Institute in a different region in the province. It was last hosted in Fraser Valley in 2000. As part of the workshop, they work with community partners to leave behind wetland legacy projects.
“The amount of support we received in Mission and surrounding areas was tremendous. All sorts of businesses, groups, and people rallied behind our wetland projects and went to exceptional lengths to ensure they were successful,” said Neil Fletcher, wetlands education program manager of BCWF.
A revived wetland at Dewdney Elementary will serve as an outdoor classroom where children can explore nature on their own school ground.
Participants and families involved with the school spread mulch and seed on the newly contoured wetland that was prepared by an excavator earlier in the week.
Cedar stumps were turned into activity tables and a log amphitheater was integrated into the outdoor space to maximize learning opportunities for teachers and students.
These additions, compliment other outdoor improvements the school has made to enhance and support the new curriculum that focuses on place-based learning. Neighbours and businesses came forward with plenty of donations.
Silverdale wetlands also received a boost, as an area full of invasive reed canary grass was transformed into three shallow wetland pools.
The site was enhanced to increase the amount of native plant species with the aims to support a greater diversity of wildlife including native frogs and birds. These pools are located along a portion of the walking trail and will enhance the public’s opportunity to encounter wildlife species.
The BCWF is working with the Fraser Valley Watershed Coalition and other community members to replant the site in the fall.