Kids planted trees to help flood-prone area

More trees to stop floods

Chelsea Powrie

Kids from Summerland's Trout Creek Elementary School got to take their classroom outside on Tuesday morning, pitching in to an ongoing conservation project aimed at preserving and restoring natural lake shorelines, as well as protecting them against flooding and erosion.

The Love Your Lake project is part of the Southern Interior Land Trust. Executive director Al Peatt was at Powell Beach with kids from grades three, four and five, helping them plant native plants.

"Any structure that you get in terms of plantings that happen, be it low shrubs or tall trees, adds structure that birds and other wildlife can use for movement, security and for food," Peatt said. 

Some of that structure also comes in the form of root systems which can help prevent erosion and leach away materials and nutrients in the soil that shouldn't end up in the lake. 

"We want to encourage shoreline property owners along the lake to manage lake health in a more sensitive manner by providing additional vegetation buffers on their property," Peatt explained "The idea is, add some vegetation to stabilize those soils ... it's good for lake health generally. The roots of those plants go down deep, much deeper than the grass on your lawn."

The kids got some environmental teaching on site, including an acknowledgement of the Indigenous people of the area. They planted dozens of varieties of plants, all of which will contribute to the area staying stable in future years. 

"This area here was underwater [in 2017]," said Mayor Toni Boot. "These plants are the plants that have been here forever, so they are sure to survive, even another flood."

Energy was high as the kids ran around planting and comparing notes on what they were growing. 

For more information on the Love Your Lake project or how to get involved, click here

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