Students in the outdoor education class at Belmont Secondary School spent a day removing broom from the small forest area near the school. (Photo courtesy of Dayna Christ-Rowling)

Students in the outdoor education class at Belmont Secondary School spent a day removing broom from the small forest area near the school. (Photo courtesy of Dayna Christ-Rowling)

Langford students banish broom from forest at Belmont Secondary School

Students uncovered native plants being compromised by the invasive species

Langford students are taking action to uproot an invasive species.

Grade 11 and 12 students from the outdoor education class at Belmont Secondary School spent a day recently removing broom from the small forest near the school.

“We partnered with Shelby Newcombe and the Langford Parks and Recreation. They sourced the tools for us, came out and worked, and once the class brought all the broom out of the forest took away the invasive plants,” said outdoor education teacher Dayna Christ-Rowling.

“This was the third day of class with this group, and they all got to know each other, had some laughs, some swearing. Everyone kept a good sense of humour and I got to learn more about my students.”

Christ-Rowling proudly noted that the class removed hundreds of plants, and said students from the Grade 9 and 10 classes will also do it in coming weeks. She added the importance of removing the invasive species in order to protect the native plants growing in the same area.

“As soon as you introduce a native species to a natural forest, it is opportunistic and takes over. Basically if you don’t remove it, the native plants will be compromised,” said Christ-Rowling. “We uncovered lots of native species, such as Oregon grape, which were being choked out by the broom.”

The best part of the day was seeing everyone work together for a good cause, she said, which will have lasting ramifications.

“It was a physically challenging day, but the students endured it very well. We need purpose, and there is something so great about working together,” said Christ-Rowling.

“I feel like as soon as kids learn service with no profit to themselves, a part of our brain sets fire. When we volunteer and work collectively for one purpose, it makes us feel good.”

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Students in the outdoor education class at Belmont Secondary School spent a day removing broom from the small forest area near the school. (Photo courtesy of Dayna Christ-Rowling)

Students in the outdoor education class at Belmont Secondary School spent a day removing broom from the small forest area near the school. (Photo courtesy of Dayna Christ-Rowling)

A Belmont secondary outdoor education student works to remove broom in a forested area next to the school. (Photo courtesy of Dayna Christ-Rowling)

A Belmont secondary outdoor education student works to remove broom in a forested area next to the school. (Photo courtesy of Dayna Christ-Rowling)

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