On a beautiful sunny Saturday morning on October 30 2021, Free the Fern member, Damian Assadi, lead a Youth Planting Event, along the Red Alder Trail, adjacent to Kinross Creek Co-op.
Thanks to a #RisingYouth grant he was able to purchase native plants and shrubs for planting along the trail, including vine maple, osoberry, gooseberry, salmonberry, hardhack, red flowering currant, and sword fern. 7 youth, ages 15-30, including Damian, came out to volunteer. I was able to support the planting and provide the use of our Free the Fern tool set (purchased using a TD Park People Grant)
The youth began by removing 480 litres (two 240 L city green bins) of invasive weeds – Himalayan blackberry, English ivy, and Lamium – from the planting area. They dug out giant Himalayan blackberry root balls and removed ivy with vines over 5 metres in length. After much exertion, the youth had a well deserved snack break (with treats and refreshments provided by our local Independent Grocer). Following which, they began planting native plants. Despite having to dig through very rocky soil, the students kept up a positive attitude, chatting with each other and noticing the beauty of the trail. The area was transformed thanks to their hard work and dedication.
Much gratitude to Damian for applying for grant funding, ordering plants, and leading this successful youth planting event!