School a Green Games winner

The École Cobble Hill Roots & Shoots Club, 30 dedicated students in Grades 3 through 7, has again scored a win at the BC Green Games.

Of course, the school now has a new home, having relocated from Mill Bay, but that has only meant a chance for a new project.

With the support of the Cobble Hill Parks Commission, the club is expanding an existing trail in the Cowichan Valley Regional District’s Fairfield Park in Cobble Hill.

The students this year are creating an interpretive loop trail through the forest, designing interpretive signs that showcase the geography, native species, First People’s use, forestry history, invasive species and future of the park, "creating a natural outdoor learning space that will be an extension of the classroom," according to Tonja Joyce of the Parent Advisory Council.

"The trail will also be available for the community to learn about and enjoy our natural habitat," she said.

École Cobble Hill’s predecessor, École Mill Bay, won the BC Green Games twice in the past, in both 2011 and 2012.

The École Cobble Hill Roots & Shoots group meets once a week at lunch to learn about and take action on environmental and humanitarian issues.

École Cobble Hill will hold its annual Ecostravaganza, a fun event celebrating World Environment Day, on Saturday, June 7 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the school.

"We are so proud of our Roots & Shoots students," said school principal Lise Pagé. "They have worked so hard to become environmental leaders at École Cobble Hill and in the South Cowichan Valley."

"I have been a part of the Roots & Shoots program for five years now and every week I am impressed by how aware and interested children are about environmental issues that affect them," said Michelle Redfern, a parent volunteer with the club. "I congratulate all of the students who worked so hard on this project, learning about importance of preserving our coastal forests, and being able to share nature with the wider community."

Praise has come from beyond the school, too.

Regional Director Gerry Giles said, "We are excited to partner with the Roots & Shoots program at École Cobble Hill School and to work with them to improve the park experience in the Fairfield Park natural space. The students are exceptional to work with and we are impressed with the knowledge and enthusiasm they are bringing to this project."