Last week, the Sooke Food CHI received notice that the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation (FEF) would provide a $4,600 grant towards an interactive interpretative program at the newly created wetlands pond garden at Sunriver Allotment Gardens.
This new program will help volunteer gardeners create the right habitat for the pond garden. This wet garden will demonstrate an independent eco- system: it will support edible and medicinal plants, plants that will filter the pond water, and other living organisms. In the fullness of time this wetlands garden will be very attractive and welcoming for visitors.
Jasmine from Jasmine Excavating created the clay lined pond last fall. Some of the pond has deep sections where reeds won’t grow and shallower sections ideal for island plantings and ledge habitats. Fish will be added. Some of the FEF dollars will go towards plant shapes and structures to create more shade, and more sitting and picnic areas. The interpretative program will be more than small signs posted near plants and shrubs. It will include guest naturalists and elders to introduce us to two things:
• The importance of special habitats for frogs and other living creatures (snakes have been spotted at the pond) to all be a part of the ecological balance in this unique garden; and,
• The traditional uses and tastings of edible and medicinal plants.
The public is welcome to visit this special place, as long as you close gates behind you as you leave.
According to the FEF website (fef.td.ca) “From tree plantings and environmental education to urban greening and energy conservation, TD FEF is proud to provide much-needed funding to help sustain environmental projects across Canada.” One hundred per cent of the money donated to the fund goes directly towards the community projects.
With notes from Pheobe Dunbar