Science students learn about the local watershed

Fernie Academy science students planted dogwood cuttings as part of CBT's 'Know Your Watershed' program.

Science students from the Fernie Academy planted dogwood cuttings at the new boat launch at Dogwood Park in Fernie as part of CBT's 'Know Your Watershed' program.

Science students from the Fernie Academy planted dogwood cuttings at the new boat launch at Dogwood Park in Fernie as part of CBT's 'Know Your Watershed' program.

Science students from the Fernie Academy planted red osier dogwoods at the new boat launch at Dogwood Park as part of Columbia Basin Trust’s (CBT) ‘Know Your Watershed’ (KYW).

The grade eight science students first step was to harvest dogwood ‘stakes’ from existing bushes further upstream along the Elk River with the help of Ayla Bennett, CBT environmental educator for KYW. They coated the tops with a latex paint to seal the dogwood stakes and for visibility. The cut ends were soaked in buckets of water as the students transported the stakes and branches down stream to their new planting site.

Students used rebar to punch narrow holes deep into the ground, 30 centimeters apart and two meters away from the newly planted conifers. They lightly tapped the dogwood stakes to half of their length into the ground. Seventeen grade eight students planted over 80 dogwood stakes and various branches.

“These grade eight students partnered with the City of Fernie (COF) to maximize the effectiveness of their Student Action Project,” said Bennett. “They wanted to help the COF restore the shoreline in Dogwood Park.”

Part of the project included students learning about the importance of native vegetation.

The dogwoods that survive the winter will come to life next spring along the shoreline.