by Grant Elliott
In April 2017, 30 Grade 9 students from Cobourg Collegiate Institute ventured into the marsh for a full day of work, education and fun sponsored by the Lone Pine Marsh Board and a grant from the Trillium Fund. The weather was hot and sunny and made for an amazing day to be outside and enjoy spring. During their time at the marsh, the students participated in 5 workshops which included: installing 15 bird boxes; planting 200 trees throughout the property; examining water quality and discovering water borne species in the marsh; identifying a variety of invasive species that need controlling such as dog strangling vine, buckthorn and Manitoba maple; and finally learning about grassland management to encourage bird species to return to the area.
Prior to the event, students built the bird houses in the wood shop at CCI and then installed them at the marsh. Hard work quickly turned to excitement as the students saw birds begin to take over the boxes before even completing the installations. Various other sightings of wildlife happened during the day: deer wandered through the area, numerous species of birds circled the birdboxes, and a garter snake was captured and subsequently released. The students found this educational day exciting and challenging but intermixed with a lot of fun.