Thank you to all of the schools that applied for the 2016 Learning Garden program. A selection panel reviewed all of the applications and decided upon three schools. The selected schools are:
- Walter and Gladys hill Public School;
- Ecole McTavish Junior High; and
- Holy Trinity High School.
Note: The 2017 Learning Garden program is currently under review.
The Learning Garden Program is a Municipal initiative that provides local schools with the tools to develop sustainable garden-based learning programs.
The gardens consist of raised wooden beds situated on school property that are entirely organized, planted, maintained and harvested by students, teachers, and parent volunteers. Learning gardens are proven to be an effective teaching and community building tool. Schools recognize the learning potential of a garden, as virtually all subject areas can be addressed across various grade levels and curriculum: Science/Chemistry/Biology (photosynthesis, seed germination, pollination, nature and nutrition), Math (measuring, grid systems, counting), Art (colours and composition), Physical Activity, and Social Studies (cultural diversity, community stewardship, charity work and cooperation).
Other benefits of a Learning Garden include instant beautification of school grounds and neighbourhoods, confidence building, improved behavior and communication skills, and community pride.
At the end of the growing season, schools have the option to donate their “crops” to the local food bank, sell their produce to fund school initiatives or simply enjoy the fruits of their labour through planned social events like a picnic or a pot-luck.
The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo piloted the Learning Garden Program in 2014 and it has garnered an overwhelming response and success rate.
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