2012 Calgary, Alberta Canada
The Native Plant Campaign (NPC) was an opportunity for youth in Calgary to learn about and get involved in ecological biodiversity within the City of Calgary. As the first-place proposal in Caring for our Watersheds 2011, the NPC was a project designed by youth for youth. Since the student authors were members of UNA-Canada’s Ripple Effect program at the time, UNA-Canada offered to be the mentor organization for implementation.
Twenty-four youth, ages 14-20, volunteered their Saturday afternoon, despite the rain, to learn about and plant native plant species along the banks of the constructed wetland on Prince’s Island Park, Calgary. The event ran from 12:30-4:00pm on Saturday June 2, 2012.
The event began with a welcome from UNA-Canada and a brief overview of the upcoming Rio+20 summit in order to connect local actions with global affairs. Once the students had toured the wetland and learned about riparian health and native/invasive plant species, they spent the remaining time planting over 100 plants, trees, and shrubs. The following species were planted: Balsam Poplar, Aspen, River Birch, Paper Birch, River Alder, Chokecherry, Tawny Willow, Black Bud Willow, Pussy Willow, Silverberry, Dogwood, and Dwarf Birch.
One student said, “I really enjoyed the informational nature walk…I learned a lot and it made the plantings that more meaningful. I am definitely excited to participate in another event like this in the future.”