Our vision for a more sustainable Canada is to have a healthy balance between infrastructure and nature. We acknowledge that Canada is a developed country that is growing both economically and technology-wise. However, Canadians must also consider their impact on the Earth, as climate change is becoming more of an issue now, and especially in the near future. One of the many issues that is becoming more prominent is the gradual extinction of pollinators (bees, butterflies, etc.), due to the destruction of their natural habitats. Our school garden addresses this issue, as many bee/butterfly friendly plants and flowers were planted. Not only is this crisis directed towards our community, but our entire world in general, because pollinators are extremely important to our agriculture and food chains in ecosystems. Therefore, our garden becomes a daily reminder to all STL students and staff members about this problem, so we can spread awareness and educate the community.
We planted various bee and butterfly friendly flowers and plants to promote protecting these pollinators that are significant to the well-being of all living things. This project mainly focuses on the importance of pollinators, and the consequences if they ever become extinct. Since destruction of habitats and pesticides are some of the main causes of their decline, our garden promotes growing these specific plants to attract bees and butterflies, especially without the use of herbicides and pesticides. As mentioned previously, pollinators are extremely important in agriculture, thus their decline will also affect Canada’s economy. The agriculture industry not only feeds Canadians, but it employs many citizens as well. Therefore, Canadians must appreciate the role of pollinators that they are unaware of in their daily lives. Thus, our school garden acts as a daily reminder to all STL students and staff about this issue, and to educate them of how to help the underappreciated pollinators. The garden shows a prime example of not only how beautiful nature can be, but how fun it is to plant and maintain a garden with a community, which may inspire them to grow their own. Youth leadership is shown through the hard-work and collaboration of Environmental Council members to organize and sustain the garden over the course of the year, as well as the summer break. It encourages students to take initiative to care for the environment, as the garden belongs to the entire school.
Reflection & Celebration
Our entire environmental council had a fun experience while growing and maintaining a garden together. However, a problem we encountered were the weeds that flourished over the summer, which may have limited the bee/butterfly friendly plants from growing more effectively, due to some nutrients taken away. On the other hand, we have noticed butterflies and bees visiting our garden by the end of the summer, which fulfills its purpose. These sightings gave hope and satisfaction that our council’s work has made progress to our ultimate vision/goal. In the end, our council with new and returning members, have quickly bonded over this project, as well as educated ourselves and the school community of how to help these pollinators. We learned that maintaining a garden requires a lot of work, however with successful teamwork and focusing on our ultimate goal/vision, it makes the project much easier and enjoyable to know we are making a change. We bought a mix of perennial and annual plants to ensure the garden will grow again in the spring, along with the purchase of additional flowers or plants we may add on. Moreover, our council consists of grades 10-12 students, so we hope that this project can become a tradition of future environmental councils.