Unique to Deroche
Elementary is our “Forest & Stream” Stewardship Program. We have a stream running through our school
property which has given us a remarkable site to teach students ecology,
environmental studies, aquatic life and the importance of watershed
We started our “Forest
& Stream” Program in 2016 as an initiative to restore a salmon spawning
stream, long blocked due to construction and overgrowth. We have worked hard at removing invasive
blackberries and replanting non-invasive plants along the stream side. We have set up an outdoor classroom area and
were able to incorporate walking trails throughout the forest area. We have also constructed a bridge over the
stream to serve as a learning platform and interpretative area.
While education is an
integral part of our program, the project also allows our students and the community
to become actively involved in salmon enhancement with a commitment to
preserving and protecting this important watershed area. What we love most about the program is that
it will be a viable project for years to come and the benefits to fish habitat will
be long lasing and widespread.
We are grateful to the
various groups for their support including:
the Sasquatch Lions Club, Fraser
Valley Regional District, Fraser Valley Watershed Coalition, Barsanti
Environmental Services, Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Resource
Operations, DFO, Pacific Salmon Foundation, Toyota Evergreen Learning Grounds,
Communities in Bloom, RBC Blue Water Project, Inch Creek Hatchery, TD Friends of the Environment Program, TW
Excavating and Lacey Construction.Program Highlights:
Our first big event for our "Forest and Stream" Program was our Streamside Replanting day on October 13, 2017. A special thank you to the Fraser Valley Watershed Coalition and Leq'am:el for helping us with this work and to our volunteers, especially the MacLean family and FVWC Field Crew, who helped with the labour intensive task of removing overgrown blackberries prior to the replanting.
Our next big accomplishment was the construction of our bridge over the stream. It serves as a great platform for the students to view the stream from above. The bridge also connects to our learning trails and leads to our Outdoor Classroom area. Thank you to Tom Cassel and Ian Kerr from TW Excavating for the bridge work and to the MacLeans for volunteering their time to help with the installation.
Our next event was a special day for us. On April 20, 2018 we had our first Chum Salmon Release and Stream Dedication Ceremony. It was very exciting and rewarding for our students and school community as we released over 40,000 Chum Salmon into our school stream as part of our stream rehabilitation work. Thanks to DFO and Inch Creek Hatchery for making this possible.
The next phase of our project was the construction of our outdoor structure. It gives us a protected area for students to gather for year-round instruction regardless of the weather. We are very grateful to Lacey Construction and their crew for building such a spectacular structure for us - it's beautiful!
Pictured above is the first class in history to be taught in our new outdoor classroom! January 15, 2019
Stayed tuned for more highlights! We are planning to do another Chum Salmon Release in the spring. More details to follow.