Belmont secondary Grade 12 students Emmah Langer

Planting trees for tomorrow’s generations

Students and others help to repopulate desecrated land

Arnold Lim

News Gazette staff

Brianne Sleivert’s polka-dotted gumboots are firmly entrenched in a muddy field off Cecil Blogg Drive in Colwood. Next to her, Belmont secondary classmate Emmah Langer, wearing pink-trimmed flower boots, scoops loose dirt away with her hands as Sleivert shovels out a hole. The two are planting one of 500 trees to be added at Colwood Creek Park as part of the city’s Trees for Tomorrow program.

“We like to get involved in community and do what we can,” said Sleivert, 17. “It’s good because it helps our community right by our school.”

Dozens of Belmont students are lined up around them in adjacent dirt patches, where park staff have prepped the area for them to dig, drag, stomp and plant hundreds of Douglas fir, cedar, black cottonwood and alder trees at the park.

The project, designed to help improve the creek habitat and enhance the park, is funded in part by a $20,000 provincial grant and money from the City of Colwood. On the ground it’s receiving help from the Victoria Green Team and local youth and community volunteers.

Colwood Coun. Cynthia Day said the project has been a long time coming.

“It took 25 years of planning to get new trees here,” she said. “But it is one of the most important assets in our municipality, our green spaces. I am (also) so happy to see youth involved in our community, and see a positive way to showcase all they contribute.”

Day said the new trees are welcomed in an area where development once cleared an evergreen old growth forest for a new golf course. When those plans fell through, the top soil was scraped up and sold off to pay off debt.

Langer hopes the students’ efforts can help move the park a step closer to what it once was. “If I revisit this park in the future, I will know I had a part in rebuilding this – I can revisit this with my children in 20 years and know this was our doing,” she said.

“We wanted to help re-establish the environment our community lives in. It’s improving the environment for our school (and) our neighbourhood. We planted 500 trees today and this is great.”

alim@goldstreamgazette.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sooke councillor pitches another way to improve transit

Coun. Jeff Bateman wants free passes for youth on local routes

Break and enters have doubled this year in Victoria

VicPD is warning residents to take precautions after huge increase from 2019

‘It’s a boy’: Southern Resident killer whale calf born to J Pod is healthy, researchers say

J35 had previously done a ‘Tour of Grief,’ carrying her dead calf for 17 days

West Shore RCMP searching for missing Langford man

The 59-year-old man was last seen Aug. 23 and was reported missing to police Sept. 20

Saanich police searching for high-risk missing man

The 35-year-old was last seen at his Saanich residence on Sept. 15

Liberals vow wage-subsidy extension to 2021, revamp of EI system in throne speech

Canadian labour market was hammered by pandemic, when lockdowns in the spring led to a loss of 3 million jobs

Cops for Cancer: COVID-19 can’t stop Tour de Rock

‘having the chance to come back and ride this year means everything to me’

People ‘disgusted’ by COVID-19 election call, B.C. Liberal leader says

Andrew Wilkinson speaks to municipal leaders from Victoria

Horgan blasts B.C. Greens for refusing youth overdose detention

Lack of support key to B.C. election call, NDP leader says

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Sept. 22

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS

Grand jury indicts police officer in Breonna Taylor death

Officer Brett Hankison was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment

Most Read