Moose Jaw

Watershed group gets $45K to teach students about biodiversi­ty

- Jason G. Antonio - Moose Jaw Express

Federated Co-operative Limited has given a Moose Jaw organizati­on $45,000 to help educate students and the community about the environmen­t and the health of watersheds. The Moose Jaw River Watershed Stewards (MJRWS) will use the money from the Coop Community Spaces Program to install a food farm and pollinator’s garden on the north side of Prince Arthur School at 640 Stadacona Street East.

“It’s fantastic. We are all very excited about (the funding),” said Carmen Kaweski, manager of MJRWS.

The food farm will focus on growing perennial plants, fruit trees and annual plants to help feed the community and provide for the school’s food program, she explained. The pollinator garden will be near the school grounds and will have picnic tables for students, a garden to attract bees, bats and birds, and structures to house bats.

“For the whole garden, we want to promote biodiversi­ty and promote pollinator­s,” she added.

The Moose Jaw River Watershed Stewards began speaking with school administra­tors about this project in January. The organizati­on wanted to ensure it was educating youths within the watershed about what it does, including about watershed health and protecting the environmen­t.

“This was just a really nice project to do with the school. They were really interested in doing a community garden,” said Kaweski.

The organizati­on was also looking for an interactiv­e and educationa­l space for the community, so it hoped that through the garden, it could promote important concepts, she continued. Such concepts include storm drain health, water contaminat­ion, efficient water use, climate use adaptation and food security, biodiversi­ty, organic food production, and composting.

Kaweski believes the organizati­on can undertake many activities using the interactiv­e area to teach students and the community about those concepts.

The Moose Jaw River Watershed Stewards hopes the community adopts the gardens as its own and helps it grow, she added. The organizati­on wants this initiative to be a grassroots-driven space.

The Co-op Community spaces Program provided nearly $1 million in funding to 17 projects across the country, according to a news release. Since 20125, the program has provided $9.5 million to 132 projects in the categories of recreation, environmen­tal conservati­on and urban agricultur­e. More informatio­n about the program is at communitys­

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Prince Arthur School

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