Thanks to the VIU Eco Club, those looking to help out their local pollinators can get some native wildflower seeds for free at the VIUSU Pub.
“[We] wanted to give wildflower seeds out, but just didn’t know how to get them to people,” Haley Andersen, event coordinator for the Eco Club, said in an interview. “So, then I thought, ‘Hey, why don’t we put them at the pub?’ Because everybody loves the pub, and it’s one of the few places on campus where people are actually going.”
Andersen will be putting a basket containing several varieties of pollinator-friendly wildflower seeds at the pub this week. The seeds are West Coast Seeds brand, an organic seed company from Delta, right here in BC. In addition to curating organic seeds, the company currently supports Food Banks Canada through its Dr. Bonnie Henry Pollinator Blend seeds.
The seed packets will remain at the VIUSU Pub while supplies last, but with enough interest, the basket may stay topped-up through the spring. “If all the packets [are] taken, and people like it, we’ll probably do more; this is just a trial run,” Andersen said.
Andersen thought the seeds should be as accessible as possible, so they are suited to various planting environments. Whether you have a lawn or simply some outdoor planters, there are appropriate wildflower seeds for you.
If you don’t have anywhere to plant flowers but are still interested in the Eco Club, there are other projects in the works and the club is always looking to expand its reach—COVID-19 willing.
The Eco Club hosts litter pick-up events in places like Bowen Park at least once a semester. Before COVID-19, the club also hosted events like clothing swaps and ecology-related movie screenings. Presently, the Eco Club chair, Emma Simard-Provençal, is working alongside VIU biology professor Dr. Caroline Josefsson to get approval for an ecological restoration project at VIU.
“What we’re doing is native restoration,” Simard-Provençal said. “Just behind the biology building, there’s a … long section of grass [and] we’re going to be turning that into a Garry oak ecosystem. [Right now] it’s just a bunch of non-native/invasive species.”
Garry oak ecosystems were once common in coastal BC, but today they are an endangered habitat. Along with the Garry oak project, the Eco Club hopes to perform additional invasive species removal around the VIU campus.
While many students are undoubtedly busy heading into the tail end of the semester, Andersen wanted interested individuals to know that they can participate in Eco Club events without fear of commitment. “We just want people to care about the environment,” she said with a smile.
If you want to get involved with or simply learn more about the Eco Club, you can keep up with them on their Instagram, @viuecoclub.