Ecole Willows Elementary School has been doing a restoration project in Uplands Park for the last 3 years. Students have removed invasive English ivy and other invasive plants, and then planted native species around a surviving 250 year old Garry oak tree…a Grandparent tree. See the photos below.
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED WITH WILLOWS SCHOOL CLASSES IN NOVEMBER.
This area was originally plowed in the mid 1800’s to allow grain to be grown for cattle, arriving at Cattle Point, and vegetables to be grown for the soldiers at Fort Victoria. An aerial photo from the 1920’s shows a ploughed field with only a large Garry oak tree and a Black hawthorn tree.
Since then it has been overrun with invasive plants with only 4 species of plants left…invasive English ivy, Daphne laureola (stinky rat food plant – toxic), Himalayan blackberry and Norway maple trees. These plants support only rats, not native animals. The trees blocked the sun so that even the invasive blackberry died. In the last 2 years Oak Bay Parks staff has removed most of the invasive Norway maple, opening the area up to sunshine.
In November the Willows students, in 28 classes, will be planting 4 Garry oak trees, the “Grandchildren” and over $3000 of native plants in this area. Oak Bay Parks will dig the 4 holes for the trees on Hallowe’en. Sally Hallam’s K class 2018-19 raised money from their calendar to pay for the K/1 tree. Many thanks to those talented students.
Tues Nov 5 for Gr 4/5 with 2 classes at the same time – for 1 hour – 6 classes for the day 9am to 2:45pm
Wed Nov 6 for Gr 2/3 with 2 classes at the same time – for 1 hour – 6 classes for the day
Thurs Nov 7 for Gr1/K – with 2 classes at the same time for 45 minutes – 10 classes for the day
Fri Nov 8 – with 2 classes in the afternoon from 1:15 to 2:15
Thurs Nov 28 for Gr 2 – 5 with 2 classes at the same time – for 1 hour – 6 classes for the day.
Thanks to Heather Grant, Sandra Gabaglia, Shari Alexander and Sondra Showers for organizing the classes.
VOLUNTEERS ARE NEEDED before the classes start to get instructions: …parents, grandparents and friends…check your child’s time.
* TO MEET classes on Dorset across from Lincoln, take them to the site, direct them to 2 separate areas and have students put on gloves. Area 1: One class will line-up, walk to the tree and put a handful of soil on the tree and then plant native species around the tree; Area 2: the other class will plant native species in holes in a different specified area. Classes will then trade areas. Walk them back and meet the next 2 classes.
*to help students plant around the tree (trowels and plants provided) and to dig “holes” for the next group.
*to help students plant in the other specified area (trowels and plants provided) and to dig “holes” in this area for the next group.
VOLUNTEERS MUST CONTACT MARGARET TO SAY WHEN THEY CAN BE THERE AND WHAT ROLE THEY WANT.
Thank you to Myles Wardell and his Grade 3 Ecosystem Stars for helping to prepare the area on Thursday for our planting! Rakes, loppers, a saw and Hori-hori transplanting knives were used safely and effectively. Thanks also to Oak Bay Parks staff and Friends of Uplands Park volunteers for past Rake the Chips events.