Thanks to funding from Environment Canada and the Capital Regional District for the 2015-16 fiscal year, GOERT launched a gardening for nature project last fall called Back to Our Roots. It’s a habitat certification program that provides landowners with on-site expert advice, helpful resource materials, technical assistance, and incentives to help them plan and complete ‘naturescape’ projects.
The goal of the project is to work with property owners to help nature by:
- adding beautiful native plants to their landscaping;
- providing food, water and shelter for wild creatures, especially birds, bees, butterflies and other pollinators;
- reducing water consumption and the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides;
- managing invasive species;
- and creating native plant buffers and corridors around and between between parks that have natural habitat and rare species.
Several gardeners signed up for the project and scheduled one of our native plant experts (Pat Johnston, Kristen Mikelly, Louise Goulet) to assess their property, discuss their landscaping ideas, and provide advice. Afterwards, the experts prepared lists of recommended plants or more detailed planting plans that would be suitable for the specific growth conditions on the property. Over the winter project participants have been busy planning, weeding, and other steps to prepare their yards. Some of them have even started planting. We’re looking forward to seeing the results of their labour!
For more information about the project, or to sign up, check out the new Back to Our Roots section on this website.