The Seeds of Awareness project, led by Arctic 2018 alum Ally Zhao, aimed to make youth more aware of the local plants in the region of Toronto. Participants grew and took care of a plant native to the region in a small pot and by doing so learned about it. Participants watered the plant, germinated it outside, and saw it grow tall. Upon receiving a plant, participants also received an ‘information packet’ (created by the Seeds of Awareness Team) which included information on their given plant and the ecosystem it is part of. By combining an interactive activity (taking care of the plant) with the information packet, participants were able to learn about local flora and biodiversity.
About Ally Zhao
Ally Zhao is an alumni from the 2018 Arctic Expedition. Her experience on the expedition was life changing, and really encouraged her to consider how society needs to inform youth about nature and climate change. The moment on the expedition that made her decide to start this project was during the last full day on the ship. She was talking to an activist about her views on global warming, and the activist told Ally that even through Toronto was such an industrialized city, if you look past the big buildings, you can still see remnants of the plant life that used to grow there. This encouraged Ally to realize how important it is to educate youth – her peers – about native plant life, so that they will be aware of the plants that lie behind the mask of the big city.