Gathering Plants at Beaver Lake

After collecting samples at Trillium Park, Ms. Persoon’s grade 6/7 class makes their final gathering trip out to Beaver Lake in Stanley Park.

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Beaver Lake is home to one of the three remaining salmon bearing streams left in Vancouver which flows from the lake to Burrard Inlet. Both coastal cutthroat trout and coho salmon live in the stream year-round.

The lake itself is home to a variety of birds (wood ducks, mallards, and even great blue herons), insects, amphibians and of course to the beavers which give the lake its name. Beyond the trees opposite the lake, the class discovers a bog whose sensitive environment is home to plants like Labrador tea, carnivorous round-leaved sundews and skunk cabbage.

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Students also get to explore the surrounding trails where artist Cease Wyss shows them Witch’s Butter or Orange Jelly Fungus. The fungus is just one of many mushrooms, lichen and mosses that rely on fallen trees in order to grow. Orange Jelly Fungus develops on these fallen trees or nurse logs and is just as gooey as its name suggests.

After gathering a few more samples, students head back to wait for the bus. To help pass the time, Cease tells the story of a group of Squamish women who paddled canoes throughout the night to save Vancouver residents from the Great Vancouver Fire in 1886.

Ms. Persoon’s class heads back to Strathcona Elementary to press their samples. Next step, identifying the different species!

 

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