Meet Mrs. Morgan’s grade 6/7 class from Pacific Way Elementary which not only put the plans in motion to make the pollinator garden come to life, they also funded it financially with grant money and fundraising.
The class signed up for a virtual program called ‘Learning for a Sustainable Future’ where they took part in five different Zoom modules based on climate action priorities. From there they had to choose an action project that resonated with them the most, which was the pollinator program. Then, as a team they wrote a grant application and received a $500 grant for their project, and also created and sold stickers as a fundraiser to beef up the money for the garden, adding an extra $300 to their budget.
Once the money was raised, they reached out to the City of Kamloops to discuss location and needs. Kristen Wourms, Nature Park Crew Leader for the City, visited the classroom and educated the students on the plans and designs that would need to be put in place to make the pollinator garden come to life. "I went over everything a garden needs with the students in class, we talked about fencing, plants, materials, irrigation, and garden shape. They researched and designed everything from the plants they wanted to the actual design and placement of the garden – they knew exactly what they wanted after all their research. These students did an outstanding job on this project and they’re very proud of it, this entire project from idea to completion was their hard work."
Once the garden and design plans were in place, the class went to three different local landscape stores to pick out the pollinator plants they wanted, cut the turf out by hand at West Highlands, tilled up all the soil, planted the plants and worked with the City’s Parks team to install the fence around the garden.
"Working side by side with the City of Kamloops has been an amazing learning experience for the kids," says Beth Morgan, the teacher of this grade 6/7 class at Pacific Way Elementary. "The day we pulled out the sod was an extensive labour day for them and every student worked so hard, it felt like a real team project. Being able to create the garden with the Parks team was a really great experience as well, the students were able to use tools they otherwise wouldn’t have had access to for the project. Now we’re doing an education component with the rest of the school to explain why pollination is so important. Different classes from Pacific Way are coming to West Highlands today to learn from our class."
The class has since entered their project into "Our Canada Project" for a chance to win $3,000.