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Without pollinators there would be no Nutella.
With this concrete illustration by Magali Joube, children immediately understood the importance of biodiversity, without which the cocoa used to make the famous spread would not exist.
The third class of “Mr. Sébastien” from the Sainte-Agnès School attended the presentation of the Communications Advisor of the City of Salaberry-de-Valleyfield on a rainy June morning.
“What is biodiversity for? she asked her.
“To make nature stronger,” summed up little Alice, 8 years old.
But that strength, as the name suggests, comes from biodiversity, which is sometimes poor in urban settings.
To remedy this, the city of Salaberry-de-Valleyfield wants to enrich the most common green space in the suburbs: the lawn.
And to achieve that, it involves children by conducting workshops in schools and distributing a mix of clover, shamrock and yarrow seeds, native plants.
“If your parents agree, you can sow your land,” she told them.
Salaberry-de-Valleyfield wants to create a “biodiversity network”, contiguous areas that have a high ecosystem value.
Because peat (pre-cultivated grass) that is massively rolled out in urban areas generally has low biodiversity, explains Magali Joube.
“It’s a monoculture,” specifically Kentucky Bluegrass, the true name of the pristine turf.
Adding clover, shamrock, and yarrow will provide some flowers that pollinators will appreciate, and will fix nitrogen to enrich the soil.
“There is so much potential, all private land can have great ecosystem value,” enthuses Magali Joube, who specifies that lawn mowing can be kept, distributed or abandoned at will – and if municipal regulations allow it!
Increasing plant diversity is affecting the diversity and volume of insects and wildlife, she says.
It’s a virtuous circle.
The idea for this project, entitled Sowing Biodiversity, arose from the observation that conferences on this topic attracted an audience that was already interested in these topics.
“We preached about converts, we need to reach a wider audience,” said Magali Joube The pressafter his presentation.
“Children are naturally curious and they are future citizens,” she says. We turn them into actors. »
To show the way
Around forty classes from three of the ten primary schools in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield were visited in this first year of the Sowing Biodiversity project.
However, diversifying your lawn isn’t as easy as it might seem since the seeds of native plants can be hard to find. The city had to have the mix it sells made by a specialized company.
“People ask for it, but it’s hard to find,” says Magali Joube, who explains that the city wants to use all its weight to “be the leader” to encourage the industry to improve what it offers.
The approach doesn’t stop at the grass; Salaberry-de-Valleyfield now uses native plants in its landscaping.
“The advantage of domestic developments is that when they mature, they are self-sustaining,” which translates into savings, she points out.
The more people ask, the more cities order, and the more industry will deliver, she hopes.
“Buying is voting,” reminds Magali Joube, who points out that Salaberry-de-Valleyfield makes the material of her project available on her website for anyone who wants to use it.
Corrected the caption of the main photo of this text. It has been pointed out that the flower we see there is yarrow. It is, however, bird’s-foot shamrock.
- 8.7 million
- Number of living species on earth, according to a reputable study
Source: Census of Marine Life