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Palsson school kids lend a hand to Cowichan Lake Salmonid Enhancement society, tree planting

Cowichan Lake Salmonid Enhancement Society: RBC cheque and a little help from Palsson Elementary helps kick start salmon breeding process
Students from Palsson Elementary in Lake Cowichan help present a cheque from RBC to the Cowichan Lake Salmonid Enhancement Society that will help fund a project to improve salmon habitat along Oliver Creek.

Students of Palsson Elementary headed to Oliver Creek last Tuesday to plant native trees for a local salmon cause.

The students were aiding the Cowichan Lake Salmonid Enhance Society as part of a two-phase project that will enhance the salmon habitat on the creek.

A cheque of $4,000 provided by the Lake Cowichan Royal Bank of Canada's Blue Water Project will also aid the process majorly.

"I do a lot of work with the kids from Palsson Elementary every year," said society president Bob Crandall. "We have several events each year. They come to the hatchery because it's very close to the school and they feed the fry. They'll watch the taking of the eggs and the milk of the adults and help put them into trays for that portion of the life cycle."

The planting of the trees will provide shade to the salmon habitat as well as logs, when the trees eventually fall, that provides shelter for salmon to hide from potential predators.

"There's events throughout the year through the whole life cycle of the salmon that they're involved in. We do a lot of events with the schools including storm drain marking around late May early June when the weather is nice," said Crandall.

Kim Walters was one of the teachers from Palsson that escorted her class to Oliver Creek to plant the trees.

"The light rain showers were perfect for planting," wrote Walters on the class' Facebook page. "We walked up Wilson Road to a clearing, to plant various evergreen trees. It was part of an effort to enhance salmon habitat on Oliver Creek. The children were reminded of the importance of trees to a healthy salmon habitat. The children worked very hard planting and took the job very seriously. Each child planted four or five young trees."

Crandall outlined the next steps forward for the society.

"There's two things that we're correcting and improving," he said. "It's the culvert at Grosskleg Way and also the side channel after the culvert downstream into the forest. There was a natural side channel and we're going to restore it to the way it was."

Crandall also wished to recognize the following organizations for their contributions to the project alongside RBC and Palsson: the Ministry of Transportation's Environment Enhancement Sector; Pacific Salmon Foundation; Department of Fisheries and Oceans' Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnership Program; Toronto Dominion bank's Friends of the Environment Fund; Town of Lake Cowichan; landowner Greg Lundh; School District 79 and the forestry station at Mesachie Lake.