FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Students at North Peace Secondary School have been getting involved with social change projects as part of the Senior Alternate Program.

Personal and Social Development teacher Brenda Birley got her students involved in social change projects as a way of improving the community.

Senior Alternate student Chantelle Waughtal says her and another classmate started with an idea to grow a fruit orchard on the school grounds but then realized that the idea of having an orchard could be something larger and more meaningful as a tribute to First Nations culture.

“Another classmate and I decided to grow an orchard on our school ground. Our original idea was to have a patch of fruit trees but over time it grew into something much larger and much more meaningful. Now we have a group of people who are going to be growing two garden boxes as a tribute to First Nations culture, as well as the fruit trees.”

According to Waughtal, the orchard will contain traditional healing plants, berry bushes, apple trees, cherry trees, and a few other species of plants.

The orchard project is made possible by grants from Tree Canada and Pembina Pipelines and is in association with the local First Nations.

A tree planting event will be taking place this Wednesday, June 5, at 10:00 a.m. at North Peace Secondary School, with a grand opening of the orchard on Wednesday, June 12 at 11:30 a.m.