Learn more:
Jack Layton Award | Runner-Up

Check out our website: http://erichugill.wix.com/bjhscourtyard

Vision

Inspired by the Alberta Green Schools Summit we are hoping to engage kids in environmentally friendly, sustainable projects within our school. We are hoping to receive funds in order to begin our project with a transformation of our school courtyard. It is currently an unused space that we feel could be revitalized for the use of the students in the warmer months. As well, we are going to be building planter boxes for growing a variety of vegetables and a rainwater collection system to minimize water impact. We see kids too often not eating well, consuming too much and not understanding where good food comes from. This project will allow us to start small and work with kids to grow healthy food in a sustainable and environmentally conscious way. We feel that kids these days are so detached from the realities of healthy and eco-friendly food that they don't have an appreciation for where food comes from. Living in a world of quick, easy, cheap and disposable products has given us the impression that food comes from factories, not farms. We want to show kids that this isn't the case. That good food, grown in a healthy and sustainable way can be used in many delicious ways! Our project will have kids involved in a variety of ways. Our science teachers can involve kids in the curriculum, engaging them in the hands on work of their learning. Our construction program will be involved in the transformation of our garden space, building planters, rainwater collection and (hopefully / eventually) a greenhouse. Our foods program will be involved as they will get to use the products being grown and come to understand that not all food comes from a generic box at the grocery store. And of course of group of Eco-Heroes will be directly involved in all aspects of the building, study, maintenance and hard work of the project!

Action

As stated above, this will allow us to begin showing kids what it takes to grow healthy food, and what it means to be involved and active in a healthy community project. Given our students are so used to disposable, cheap and easy this will give kids an opportunity to see that their time and effort can be used to grow and create beautiful things. We will be growing healthy food, and their minds in hands on activities. We want our kids to have an active and leadership role in the planning and execution of this project. We are hoping to start small with some planters and rainwater collection, to get them inspired and excited by the potential of this project. With many families in community, good healthy food is often not a priority in the home as Brooks is home to a very large low income population. This will also allow us to send home a lot of the products we are growing so that families can create healthy meals and have healthy snacks. We are hoping to pair with EcoBrooks as they are interested in programs and procedures that would lead to the long and short term enhancement, preservation and protection of the environment in both local and global contexts. For our school this program / project would be beneficial for the students as a whole as we will reclaim our courtyard, provide fresh vegetables and herbs to the foods program, engage kids in hands on building, growing and learning. It will benefit our community as families will be receiving fresh grown products, the local government and businesses will have opportunities to partner with us in a variety of ways and it will be a unique and new venture within our community.