Our vision was to create a native garden in a gathering area that is being developed on our school grounds. We wanted to create a garden that is representative of native species in our area. Not only did we want plants of traditional significance but also ones that would attract pollinators and provide food and habitat for them.
ECI has been running a horticulture program for many years. This year we expanded our planting to sustainable native species and created a pollinator habitat. We established a native garden and planted some native shrubs with the help of an elder. The elder provided teachings of the different plants, the habitat they require and discussed the medicinal uses of various plants in our area. Our native garden is located at the back of our school in a common area where the Social Studies/History classes have built a teepee and are working on completing a gathering area. The Horticulture class is working with the History class to design and plant the green space in this area. Due to the snow storms in late April and the rain we have received in May, we have not been able to plant anything yet. We are hoping to plant in the first week of June if the ground is dry by then. A pollinator garden will be planted in a 4’x8′ raised flower bed as well as in a couple of 1’x 3′ planters. The south and west side of the space will be planted with trees and shrubs. We are hoping that our native garden flourishes and provides food and habitat for pollinators. We will also be planting some flower beds around the community and hope these will also provide habitat for pollinators.