Telkwa Elementary School teacher Linda Kusleika and her students pitch the idea to build a garden at a Telkwa council meeting earlier this year. (Marisca Bakker photo)

New garden in Telkwa takes shape

Telkwa elementary school students get help from village staff to start the garden

A new garden is going in beside the Telkwa Reading room.

Earlier this year, students from Telkwa Elementary School and their teacher Linda Kusleika made a presentation about creating a new flower garden beside the library.

“Creating a garden will help pollinators such as bees and insects and continue to make our community a greener and more colourful place to live,” said student Lily during their presentation in January. “Another reason is that the fact the natural bee population has gone down to dangerous[ly] low levels in recent years and if we don’t play our part in helping them recover we may share the same fate.”

The idea is to build a garden with perennials, possibly a birdbath and maybe an arbour, depending on funding.

At the time, the students and Kusleika asked if village staff could help water the garden during the months when school was not in session. Council was supportive of their idea and offered to help with the maintenance. However, at the last council meeting on May 26, the students asked for a little bit more help from village staff. Ksuleika filled out an in-kind donation application asking for use of the reading room’s tap, the village’s bobcat or excavator, some topsoil, concrete and asked if staff could scrape off the sod, deposit topsoil, and water the garden during the months of July and August.

Councillor Lerory Dekens expressed concern that they were asking for a lot, but director of operations Lev Hartfeil said the list appears bigger than it is.

“I spoke to Linda to get a better idea of what she is looking for,” he said. “She sent an email a couple of weeks ago with a big request and it was a lot different than what I saw in their delegation in January, so I wanted to clear that up. So what she is looking for is a few hours of a couple of operators and skid steer and maybe about a hundred dollars of topsoil and the scope of concrete to support an arbour and a birdbath isn’t well defined at this time. But in terms of helping out scraping off the sod and putting down some topsoil, I’m happy to do that out of our public works operating budget.”

Councillor Leroy Dekens asked for confirmation to make sure this wasn’t a big deal to do this and Hartfeil said no.

Council was then supportive of the village helping out the students. The garden has since been prepped by village staff and the students can start planting.


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