An Errington forest is now a more educational experience, complete with interpretive signs.
Starting at the end of Fairdowne Road, behind Errington Elementary and done in co-operation with the school, the $1,700 project was done by the Arrowsmith Naturalists, with grants from B.C. Nature, the school district and First Nations, said Jeannie Diewold.
Diewold, a teacher and Arrowsmith Naturalist member, initiated the project along with Dr. Lynne Brookes, as a way to help teachers feel more comfortable using the forest as a teaching resource.
She said she uses the forest and trail extensively in her teaching, but other teachers didn’t feel they had enough knowledge.
The signs provide identification, wildlife use and First Nations use of many of the native plants along the kilometre of meandering trail connecting to Kopernick and Middlegate roads.
The goal is to familiarize people with the plants and “foster the awareness and caring that may lead to stewardship through inviting children and others to experience the exuberance of nature and to become familiar with individual species,” reads a news release.
Diewold said they now have many ideas of ways to learn from the forested trails including having students photograph and track specific plants.
The final phase of the project will be a bear-resistant garbage container. Diewold thanked supporters Dr. Louise Janes of the Mid-Isle Veterinary Hospital and Crystal MacMIllan of BearSmart B.C., whose BareRoots Yoga Centre in French Creek is offering free lessons for donations of $20 or more.
You can also donate to Arrowsmith Naturalists through treasurer Derrick at 250-586-4595.