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End of Term Initiatives for Senior School Round Square

Ayden Kuo ’26
As Winter Break approaches, Senior School Round Square continues to be busy. 
As usual, the months of November and December for Round Square are filled with planning and organizing many environmentally-based local initiatives such as invasive species removals at Cattle Point and awareness presentations, as well as festive activities to encourage the holiday spirit. 

In the early morning of December 7, Senior School Round Square students headed off to Cattle Point for one of the many-to-come invasive species removals. Organized by Katherine Morley ’25 and Vivian Chen ’25, the group of students, along with teachers Mr. Osborne and Ms. McKerlich, had fun removing invasive species such as English Ivy from the park. 

“We mainly removed English Ivy because it smothers undergrowth and it strangles trees, which isn’t good for the environment and plants,” explained Freya Simoneau ’26, one of the many students participating in the species removal, 

Since invasive seeds or pods are never fully removed from the environment, Katherine and Vivian are planning to organize more removals in the future to continue preserving and protecting the native plants on Vancouver Island. 

“I think I will do it again next year,” added Freya. 

The Winter Market is also coming back this year! Organized by Hannah Goharian ’24 and Sophie Pathak ’24 as their CAS projects, the Winter Market takes place on December 14, the last Wednesday of 2022 before Winter Break! There will be hot chocolate stands, bake sales, silent auctions and more! Included in the silent auction, there will be gift cards from Ivy’s BookStore, Oak Bay Flower Shop, and even prizes from the well-visited Starbucks! The proceeds will benefit the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island. 

Earlier this month, Caitlin Chen ’24 and Alexis Kuo ’24 delivered an awareness presentation about endangered species and the World Wildlife Fund. 

“We decided to do this presentation because we wanted to raise awareness for endangered species around the world. Animals are a large part of our ecosystem and it is important to understand how endangered species affect us and how we can help,” explained Alexis. 

When asked about the main reasons for the extinction of species, Alexis replied, “One of the most well-known reasons for the extinction of species is habitat loss, followed by illegal trade and poaching. Habitat loss is mainly the result of industrialization and climate change. The black market animal trade is a bigger problem than most people realize. Not only are the animals impacted negatively in this trade, but native animals, pets, and even humans can also be affected because many of the transported animals are not vaccinated from diseases that can be fatal to other animals.” 

“You can help by completing or shifting to more environmentally friendly actions in daily life such as alternative transportation, reducing energy consumption and purchasing sustainable products,” added Alexis. “One of the most significant conservation organisations that work to protect these species is the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). You can help support this organisation in many ways such as making direct donations, shopping at their online shops, signing petitions or symbolically adopting an endangered animal that comes with a cute wildlife plush!” 

As the number of days before the Winter Break decreases, the pressure for organizing and wrapping up initiatives is increasing. Even though last-minute formatives and summatives are being added to the mix, Senior School Round Square members are still working hard to improve the local environment of Victoria and plan for fun, holiday-themed activities. 
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We wish to acknowledge and respect the Lekwungen-Speaking Peoples on whose traditional territory we stand, and the Songhees, Esquimalt and Wsáneć Peoples whose historical relationships with the land, where we live, work, play and learn, continue to this day.