Sandy Wayling, LKB social development worker, poses with band member Cheryl Louie as she receives one of the gardening kits. (Submitted)

‘Grow through what you go thru’: Lower Kootenay Band members try out their green thumbs

The LKB social development worker gave out 20 garden starter kits for the growing season

With the warm days of spring upon the Creston Valley, it will soon be time for residents to start planting seeds in their gardens.

Under a new initiative, some members of the Lower Kootenay Band (LKB) will be testing their green thumbs for the very first time.

Sandy Wayling, LKB social development worker, has been brainstorming activities for the community to do while safely social distancing.

With help from staff at the Morris Flowers Garden Centre, she put together 20 garden starter kits to give away as a little at-home project.

Each kit had all of the basics needed to start gardening, including seeds, soil, fertilizer, flower pots and trays, a small shovel, watering can, florescent lights, and care instructions.

“One of the best ways to get through the days of COVID-19 is by watching new life grow,” said Wayling.

“It’s just a good feeling.”

Wayling said she was pleased with the response, as band members quickly signed up for the project.

“For most of them, it’s their first time trying to grow something, and they’re pretty excited about it,” she said.

“It’s a great way to get kids involved on a family project. Kids are always excited to get their hands in the dirt.”

After a tough year living with the pandemic, Wayling said she thinks the project is giving people hope.

“I’ve already received pictures of the plants sprouting up in their little pots,” she said.

“I hope they will find this process to be therapeutic and healing.”

To make it more interesting, there is also a competitive aspect to the gardening project with prizes to be won.

Participants have been asked to take photos throughout the growth stages to record their progress.

At the end of the summer, Wayling will appoint an unbiased judge to review the photos from start to finish to see who produced the best vegetables and flowers.

READ MORE: Multi-million-dollar wellness centre for Lower Kootenay Band nears completion

READ MORE: Lower Kootenay Band develops plan for new memorial park

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