School Gardens

April 22, 2022

The Canoe Creek K-8 School Garden project will kick-off and develop curricula links to other the sustainable design and construction features of the new energy-efficient school building. It has been our experience that school gardens and gardening integrated with the curriculum are typically ranked by students as their number one favorite feature of the school. The school's site plan anticipates a couple of garden locations that could integrate rainwater harvesting, visual access from the school interior, and other considerations allowing multiple garden experiences. The project intends to develop opportunities for parents, teachers, and other school community members to mentor the students in edible food and herb gardening, butterfly / bird habitat utilizing native and adapted plants, and linkage to an adjacent conservation area’s eco-trail. The initial school gardens can be planned as Phase One of more comprehensive opportunities that may be feasible, including: an annual organic food festival featuring items from the student garden and other local growers; a designated wildlife habitat with food and water sources; and introductions to "permaculture" (the development of agricultural ecosystems intended to be sustainable, self-sufficient and promote community resilience). A Permaculture curriculum could add features including a forest garden with fruit / nut trees and understory edible plants, rain gardens for storm water management, and exhibits in hydroponics and aquaponics. The primary objectives of the Canoe Creek K-8 School Garden project will be (1) to provide hands-on and fun learning opportunities in science and nutrition; and (2) to strengthen the bonds between school and home, and the links with local businesses and not-for-profit organizations.

800

Students attended

80

Staff attended

100

Additional Volunteers attended

600

Students will be impacted this year

Intended impact of project

Increased environmental & sustainability literacy