Peninsula Streams Society helps coordinate habitat conservation and stream restoration on the Saanich Peninsula.

The non-profit works with various organizations, providing expertise and volunteers for habitat conservation.

“We’ve moved 60 tons of rock and gravel over the last five years to build spawning platforms for the salmon and improve the habitat for the creek,” says Craig Elder, from the Friends of Swan Creek watershed.

“That’s what Peninsula Streams [Society] does, all over the Greater Victoria area.”

The Society has now beautified a bridge over Swan Creek, a salmon-bearing stream, with the help of students from McKenzie Elementary.

Lisa Schneider, a teacher at McKenzie Elementary, explains that “Peninsula Streams Society contacted my teaching partner, and she thought it would be a good fit for our class to help us learn more about the ecosystem that’s right beside our school.”

Overseen by local artist Carolyn Knight, the students created two signage panels that now grace the railings of a wooden footbridge on Swan Creek in Saanich.

The panels are filled with art and poetry about Swan Creek, and the salmon and other creatures in the creek and the surrounding area.

“Arts-based learning,” says Knight “is really found to be effective, and I come with a few of tools in my kit, and a great love of this environment, and I just help those kids to bring their ideas and research to life.”

“I think this project is fantastic,” says School District 61 trustee Ryan Painter.  “It certainly shows the value of local organizations like Peninsula Streams [Society] partnering with our schools and our kids to protect our environment for the long term.”

“It’s great to involve the kids,” Elder adds, “and it’s great to have a permanent [art installation] here to remind people this is a live salmon stream.”

Veronica Cooper