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

Just Posted

Goldstream Avenue development on schedule to open next winter

Pacifica development adds 150 units of affordable housing

SCREECH: Transportation service will give residents and businesses a say in improving the system

Transportation issues are top of mind across the Capital Regional District. If… Continue reading

Artists find showcase at Coast Collective gallery

Art from the Attic showcases forgotten treasures

Drop off your old branches in Colwood

Program helps keep city yards tidy

Premier John Horgan announces improvements to Highway 14

Construction on the $10 million project is set to begin immediately

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

VIDEO: Dramatic video shows return of rescued B.C. snowboarders

Two snowboarders were rescued near Rossland, B.C. on Sunday after being lost overnight.

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

Vessel washed ashore in Campbell River during last night’s storm

A vessel appears to have gotten loose and washed to shore on… Continue reading

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Final phase of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy trials to kick off in B.C.

Doctors hope to get psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy legalized in Canada and the U.S. by 2021

WHL winning streak ends at four in Kelowna for Victoria

Royals lose 8-4 as Rockets explode offensively

Wind warning back in effect around Vancouver Island

80 km/h winds expected Saturday, Jan. 20, on east coast of Island, 100 km/h on west coast

Most Read