Grant funds signage for Errington trails

Arrowsmith Naturalists have received a $1,680 grant from the B.C. Naturalists and B.C. Nature

Errington Elementary students, and the whole community will benefit from a grant to instal informational signage along the trails around the school.

Arrowsmith Naturalists (AN) have received a $1,680 grant from the B.C. Naturalists and B.C. Nature towards the “Signs of Forest Stewardship” project aimed at providing permanent native plant informational signage along the RDN’s Errington Elementary Trail.

The trail, adjacent to Errington Elementary School, wanders through a heavily forested area AN says contains a vast amount of native flora in a small area.

Teacher and Arrowsmith Naturalist member Jeannie Diewold and Dr. Lynne Brookes applied for the grant as a way to help teachers feel more comfortable using the forest as a teaching resource.

Diewold said she uses the forest and trailway extensively in her teaching, but said other teachers don’t due to lack of knowledge and they would be more comfortable with signage to help.

The application said that First Nation elders were consulted and provided some Hulquminum names for some of the species. “They see the benefits to all as they provide this cultural connection of past to future.”

The Regional District of Nanaimo and members of both the school and larger community in Errington have also been contacted and support it.

The plan is to have students photograph the plants in each season, research them and create a guidebook.

“Students would become stewards of this environment in a very real way, and could conduct tours (a local walking group has already expressed an interest in this activity) and educate many other students and adults in the community over the coming years.”

A B.C. Nature news release said that by investing in the knowledge of children, they have a grassroots opportunity to help create a generation who truly know and appreciate nature, and whose actions will ensure that it is kept worth knowing.

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