O Canada! Our home and native plants — yes you read it right — this year’s National Wildlife Week theme is native plants! What better way to send the message nationwide than through our own national anthem (well, a variation of it at least!)?
Canada has more than 3000 identified native plants from trees, shrubs, wildflowers, grass, ferns, vines, ground cover to aquatic plants. But those numbers are dwindling. Without our help, a quarter of native plants could disappear from our nation’s terrain. Robbed of this nourishment and shelter, many animals, including rare and endangered species, would be further threatened. Butterflies, songbirds, waterfowl and mammals are at risk because of disappearing habitat. You can find out what plants are native to your region at WildAboutGardening.org.
Every year, CWF celebrates teachers and students who create, conserve and maintain habitat for wildlife through the WILD School and National Wildlife Week Award programs. This year, CWF has honoured Anne Lindsay, a teacher at Riverside Public School in Huntsville, Ontario with the National Wildlife Week Award for her work co-ordinating the Redeem the Stream Project — a project to rehabilitate a stream located on their school’s property. With the help of students from grades one through eight, Lindsay transformed the eroded, polluted stream into a healthy watershed. By planting a variety of native plants, they were able to filter out much of the pollutants, drive down erosion and offer shelter and nourishment for the amphibians and insects that live there.
Celebrate wildlife from April 5 to 11 and learn more about National Wildlife Week.