A butterfly release in Vernon's Polson Park, Thursday, will symbolize B.C.'s climate change emergency.
The release will set the stage for the Vernon Youth Climate Action Summit May 31 at the Vernon Rec Centre.
The public is invited to the butterfly release, hosted by W.L. Seaton Secondary School students Polina Ignatyeva, Ava Marginson, and Natalie Fux, at 11 a.m., behind the Vernon Community Arts Centre.
About 70 butterflies provided by Vernon Teach and Learn and raised by Beairsto Elementary students will be released into a tented maze and then into the wild.
“B.C. butterfly and plant species are at risk due to climate change,” says Polina, “so we made it our mission to show the Vernon community that we need to make a change to protect this vital pollinator. If a small butterfly can transform, then so can we as individuals and even more so as a community.”
“Our moral goal with this project is to show that taking action and making change doesn’t have to be initiated by the government,” says Ava, “nor does it have to be grand. It starts small, with a community eventually having a change of heart.”
The event is one of many climate-action projects by more than 120 Grade 11 students from Vernon schools in support of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the City of Vernon’s Climate Action Plan.
Projects are providing solutions to reduce Vernon greenhouse gasses and include composting, beekeeping, tree-planting, and hydroponic gardening.
Students will display their projects and share what they learned at the Youth Climate Action Summit on May 31. The public is welcome to view displays and talk to the students from 10 a.m. to noon in the rec centre auditorium.