Building the Bridge between garden and classroom
Jack Layton Award | Honourable Mention
Create and continue a love of learning for the environment by showing children how to care for and love nature as opposed to pulling leaves and branches.
The students at William G. Davis Public school have been working hard to create a garden in the front of the school with their teacher Natasha Cardoso. Students started by reading lots of books such as The Giving Tree, The Lorax and the Curious Garden to see the harmful effects humans have on the environment and how just one person can make a difference in sustaining a green future. The school’s green team is mainly made up of a group of grade one students, who had some help from the community-such as parent-volunteers, Starbucks and High School Students from Sir Oliver Mowat. “It’s not about what it is, it’s about what it can become.”
― Dr. Seuss, The Lorax
The team was surprised to find an abundance of garbage in the garden in fact; we found water bottles and clothing! The Green Team received LSF EcoLeague funding, and purchased lots of perennials, shrubs and bushes so that the garden can continue to grow and prosper every year. We also purchased watering cans and garden tools so that the students can continue to adhere to the needs of the garden in years to come.
Students learned to care for plants by watering them and consistently checking to see if anyone has thrown garbage near their plants. I am working on obtaining a recycling bin for the front of the school so that the day-care students or students who wait for the bus at our location but attend a school elsewhere are not littering our garden.
I am surprised at how this garden has now fostered a love of nature in the students not only within the team but all over the school. Students who normally rush by to get to their class doors on time or are running to get on their school bus are stopping to admire the garden! Parents are coming up and saying how wonderful the garden looks and how their child has spoken a lot about their role in developing the garden. I truly believe the garden is a success in the community! Our team has also planned a nature walk to see their new buddies from Sir Oliver Mowat and to see their gardens. A great learning partnership has occurred despite the vast age difference of students and a love of nature and caring for the environment have brought these two groups together.
This project also faced some challenges along the way. Due to the recent job-action with the TDSB teachers, I found it difficult to hold proper Eco-Club meetings due to the fact that we were unable to have after school meetings. Another challenge was also the weather which was not co-operating until this week. It was too cold to start the actual gardening part so we focused on the learning-behind the scenes and the cleaning of the yard before we actually started the planting. We cannot wait to see our garden in full bloom!
“UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
Dr. Seuss, The Lorax