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The next Comox Valley Nature meeting will be about gardening native plants

Vaseline 2 months ago

Gardening with native plants will be the topic at the next Comox Valley Nature meeting.

The meeting will be held on Sunday, April 28 from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM in the church hall of Comox United Church, 250 Beach Drive, Comox.

A native plant garden over a lawn is not only beneficial for wildlife and pollinators, but also has the potential to sequester carbon. When carbon is captured in a garden, carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere and retained in the soil. The process plays a crucial role in mitigating climate change by reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Dr. Royann Petrell (associate professor emerita, University of British Columbia) will provide background material on gardening native plants and some information about an event planned for June 15 at the Steller Raven Ecological Farm. There will be time for questions and discussion from the audience.

Petrell worked on a carbon sequestration research project for Project Watershed for three years and became very interested in how the process works. She and her husband, Sylvain, have rehabilitated much of their 7.5-hectare Steller Raven ecological farm with native shrubs and trees, wild trees, ponds and streams, and for the past five years, native grasses and flowering plants from Vancouver Island. Plants best suited to carbon sequestration are long-lived perennials with roots adapted to our wet winters and hot, dry summers.

To date, 95 bird species have been observed on the farm, many of which are breeding. Recently, 16 beehives were installed. In early spring, the bees collect pollen from willows and native flowering shrubs. Petrell would like to describe her progress and joy in creating a carbon sequestration native garden.

The hope is that native horticulture will catch on and benefit the Comox Valley. Volunteers are needed to help during the June 15 event. A list of volunteer positions will be available for people to register at the April 28 meeting. Funding for the event comes from a BC Nature Donor grant.

The public is invited to learn more about Comox Valley Nature’s activities to promote native plant gardening. Anyone interested in this lecture or participating in CVNS activities can also visit https://comoxvalleynaturalist.bc.ca/