Grade 1 class goes hands-on to pull up Garlic Mustard at Vernon park

Plant hit by field trip

An invasive plant at Kalamalka Lake Park was hit by a Grade 1 field trip earlier this month.

Teacher Sara McLean took her class on May 8 to uproot Garlic Mustard plants, an invasive species in the Okanagan. She tells Castanet the field trip was designed to cement topics they learned in school.

“More than ever, I think kids need to connect with nature,” she wrote in an email. “Our class spends the year learning about and appreciating local plants... but I’ve always wanted to go a step further.”

"I know these kids will remember this experience. Who knows how a small experience like this will change how they see the world and change how they treat it... The goal is to create future stewards of this land and help them feel connected to these grasslands."

The Grade 1 class chose to uproot the Garlic Mustard plant because it can be done safely, and the plant has not yet seeded at this time of the year. Kids partnered with Daryl Nolan and Brenda Couture of the non-profit Friends of Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park, who helped facilitate the event.

Garlic Mustard is listed by the province as an invasive species that dominates its area, displacing beneficial vegetation and threatening ecosystems and at-risk species.

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