Elementary school students from Vernon convince city to stop mowing down pollinator plants - InfoNews

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Elementary school students from Vernon convince city to stop mowing down pollinator plants

A Monarch butterfly perches on a milkweed plant.
Image Credit: Shutterstock
July 08, 2016 - 8:00 PM

VERNON - They may be little, but a group of passionate Grade 4 students from Vernon have made a big impact.

Acting on a request from the Okanagan Landing Elementary School students, the City of Vernon has decided to stop mowing down pollinator plants like milkweed on certain local roadsides. It will also work on incorporating more pollinator plants into the gardens at City Hall and Polson Park, and wants to encourage developers to do the same.

“I was very impressed. I thought they obviously had done all of their homework,” Coun. Juliette Cunningham says of the students. “They were very passionate about it.”

The group stood up in front of council last month to make their request with teacher Sheila Monroe. They talked about their class garden ‘Pollinator Landing’ and how milkweed is essential to the lifecycle of the Monarch butterfly.

“They were very convincing. I admire that kind of civic engagement at that young age,” Cunningham says.

City operations staff will be adjusting their mowing work where milkweed grows along Okanagan Landing Road, Lakeshore Road and Tronson Road. If the weeds get too high and affect sight lines or visibility, they will be trimmed down, however the impact will be as minimal as possible.

City council doesn’t get a lot of visits from youth in the community, but Cunningham hopes that will change.

“Young people are often more aware of environmental issues than many of us,” Cunningham says.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston or call 250-309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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