Crews work to dig up the hard soil by Ladysmith Secondary School in preparation of new vegetation the school has been given. Planting should start in September.

Crews work to dig up the hard soil by Ladysmith Secondary School in preparation of new vegetation the school has been given. Planting should start in September.

Students get lesson in landscaping

Ladysmith high school receives grant to beautify front parking lot

As students gather their supplies, style their hair and prepare for another year of education, Ladysmith Secondary School is also getting a new look for the 2011/2012 school year.

Thanks to a grant organized by Tree Canada, the school’s front parking lot is undergoing a school beautification project that will not only put a little more green space in front of the school but provide an important educational tool as well.

LSS instructor Shelley Gvojich spearheaded the project with a group of students, known as the Green Team, to tackle the approximate 17m-by-17m chunk of land.

“It was basically an ugly hunk of land with signs in it, and we’re taking that and converting it into a garden,” she said. “One of the teachers in our school is a landscape architect on the side, so she created a whole landscape plan. We’re for the most part keeping to that.”

Last week, a School District 68 crew was hard at work digging up turf to make way for an addition to the sprinkler system and breaking the hard soil so that hopefully, by the end of September, the flowers, trees and shrubbery can be planted. Some of the species planned are red elderberry, pacific dogwood and red flowering currant. “It’s going to have all native species in it, and that’s one of the key pieces of the grant,” Gvojich said.

A pathway has also been planned out and Gvojich hopes to install a few benches.

Tree Canada is a non-profit organization that finds sponsors to fund tree related projects.

The LSS project, which was applied for in January, is being funded by Golder Associates.

“In our case, we chose a school beautification project, but they do other things as well like cleanup projects.”

The Green Team has been involved with other school projects, such as the BC Energy Ambassadors program through BC Hydro.

The students had to attend a number of workshops and come up with a plan for the school, which was presented to the school board in order to receive the $1,000 grant. The money was used to install three-way garbage cans which allows the students to sort their waste into recycling, compost and garbage.

Gvojich said once the garden is in place and thriving well, the school hopes to tie it into the curriculum and get the students interacting with it on a regular basis.

“We’re responsible for maintenance of the garden, so we’re hoping we can tie it into the daily schooling of some of the classes,” she said.