Did you know that 20 per cent of wild plants in Québec are currently vulnerable, endangered or at risk? Concrete measures must be taken to change this situation. Local communities have a key role to play. In 1999, the Montréal Biodôme launched SEM’AIL, a public awareness, education and restoration program for wild leek. From 2000 to 2004, one million wild leek seeds were distributed to 1,117 maple groveowners, creating 500 new colonies in southern Québec.
Today, the Montréal Biodôme leads SEM'AILjr, a school program on biodiversity. After learning about the importance of preserving biodiversity, students then get involved in wild leek restoration by creating a new colony in their community. Regions that have been most affected by the plants’ decline – Montérégie, Lanaudière and the Laurentians – are targeted. During the wintertime, a Biodôme facilitator gives a workshop on biodiversity conservation in the classroom. In the spring, students plant wild leek seeds in a protected forest in their area suitable for the plant to thrive. Each student involved in a community project to restore a vulnerable species plays an important role in biodiversity conservation in Québec.