Through the Eco-Leadership Journey, a volunteer program with the WWF-Canada and Chantiers jeunesse, we were able to have a Native Seed Library at three local libraries and get growing and educational material to our local youth. Our project, the eARTh Revival Native Seed Project created an experiential learning experience for residents and youth of South Georgian Bay to foster a hands on approach to conservation in your own backyard!
Our Seed Library was held at our three local libraries: Clearview Public Library, Collingwood Public Library and Blue Mountains Public Libray. We had 20 types of native plant species at each location, and 28 different species altogether to help increase biodiversity, conserve insects that rely on native plants and create more ecological urban spaces that work with and not against nature.
115 local residents got native plant seeds and 575 seed packs were distributed.
At around 30 seeds per pack - thats 17,250 seeds!
If we take a germination rate of 50%, 8625 native plants will go into our urban landscapes in 2021 from this project alone.
As years go on, these native perennial species will continue to grow larger and produce seeds for wildlife. The seeds will get deposited in South Gerogian Bay communities and contribute to a continued growth of ecological services in our yards and town spaces
The second part of the project involved students at our three local Forest Schools: Free Spirit Forest School, Red-tailed Hawk Forest School and Wild School of the Blue Mountains. We were also able to get seeds to students at Collingwood Collegiate Institute for their science program.
This project will influence 280 local youth to become aware of our local plant species, native bees and butterflies and how to participate as a young land steward.
The impact this project will have on the youth in the Forest School’s will be meaningful and long lasting. Children in Forest School are taught following an experiential model, based in the research that shows that children who engage in forests when young are more likely to use them as adults (Ward Thompson et al., 2002). This education model also suggests that understanding and appreciation of nature can be developed through hands on active involvement, interaction and direct experiences. Children are also more likely to be interested in insects than adults, and thus a curiosity and understanding of insects' role in the environment will transfer forward into more ecologically responsible adults when they have to make decisions around environmental matters. The growing and educational materials that we have been able to provide to the Forest Schools will be used to show the students how they can be stewards of the land and participate in conservation practices.
Educational resources were laminated as Forest Schools are out in all elements. This way the resources will be available for years and youth to come!
Butterflies of Southern & Eastern Ontario by Risk Cavasin
A great butterfly identification resource!!
We also encouraged the use of our website for more educational resources to local residents, and all of our educational resources printed for the schools are also on our website, available to anyone to print and use as an educational tool or personal resource.