Twin Rivers Elementary School students had the opportunity last week to participate in a major rehabilitation project at Millennium Park.
Over two days, the students planted 250 camas bulbs in the camas conservation area at the park. The approximately one-acre section was officially designated as a conservation area by the City of Castlegar in 2015.
Camas is a root plant that historically was a dietary staple for many Indigenous peoples. The Millennium Park area has the largest non-coastal concentration of camas in British Columbia.
The students helped with shovelling compost that was provided by the City of Castlegar and planting bulbs and stalks. They also had a chance to ask botanist Dr. Brenda Beckwith questions about the plant.
The bulbs they planted were salvaged from the area where the gas line was relocated underground. They were then cared for at Selkirk College.
“Now they are coming back to the park,” explained Megan Read, Indigenous Learning Services teacher for School District 20. “This whole area has been camas meadows for thousands of years. We are just starting to recognize how important culturally this plant was. This is the first and only camas conservation area in Canada.”