In 2021, LCS participated in 24 Good Deeds Charity advent calendar, which features 24 projects that focus on healthcare, nutrition, the environment, education, and infrastructure. The proceeds from calendar sales are given to the participating charities to work toward their unique projects to help make positive change around the world.
Lakefield College School applied for a position on the 2021 roster of charities and was selected for its “Seeds for Bees” project. This project is important to LCS students and the broader LCS community not only because of their love for honey (anyone who has tasted some of The Grove’s fresh honey will understand!) but also because the importance of creating pollinator pathways and maintaining the biodiversity of pollinators and native plants in the area is increasingly urgent.
Pollinator insects pollinate an estimated 35% of global crop volume (making this a food security issue) and 90% of the Earth’s flora. So, it is essential we create habitats within our urban settings that can sustain these critical insects (Marshman et al., 2019).
With advent calendar sales ending in 2021, LCS is now in the position to move forward with this project. Each sale of a 24 Good Deeds advent calendar allows LCS to purchase one native pollinator seed packet.
Led by LCS Seniors-in-Charge of Natural Resources and Agriculture, Alvaro ’22 and Maggie ’22, the plan for this project is to have students package the pollinator seeds on Earth Day in April. Once packaged, students will visit local neighborhoods (prioritizing those living in newly developed areas where wildflowers were once abundant) to deliver seed packets to residents. The goal is that the recipients of these seed packets will distribute the seeds in their communities so that pollinator-friendly plants can grow and thrive. Students also aim to promote conversation, the growth and appreciation of native pollinator plants, and share the opportunity for community members to visit the LCS campus to allow the community to focus on local regenerative gardening practices.
I was selected as one of the SICs of Agriculture and Regenerative Technologies at our school’s community farm, and my role is to provide research on our native pollinators as well as to coordinate with the SIC of computer science on how to build the project’s online presence. I’m most excited about this project’s potential to create real change within our local community which can have a nationwide or even international impact. I hope that through the power of information and community, we can change the ways agriculture is practiced in Canada in a way that will positively impact the environment.Alvaro ’22
I’m most excited to connect this school to the broader community. We often exist in our own bubble, so being able to work with locals will be a great chance to build the school’s connection with the village. I hope this project serves to make people a bit more conscious of our local environment and encourage them to make changes to their own gardens to support the area’s biodiversity.Maggie ’22
Another exciting component of this project involves one of a Lakefield student who has a passion for coding, Vincent ’22. While the SICs plan the packaging and distribution of the seeds, Vincent is building a website that will act as an informational hub for those interested in learning more about this project and the need to create additional pollinator pathways in Ontario. Vincent ’22 said, “The website will include information about the project, local pollinators, local plants and a map where people can place where they put the plants.” Recipients of the seed packets will be directed to this website to learn more about the impact their distribution of pollinator seeds will have on their communities and beyond.