Environmental Council Greening Project
Our vision for Canada is… to have a school courtyard and green rooftop that are beautiful to visit, relaxing to learn in, and peaceful to pray in. We would like to create a space that is inviting, green, and sustainable. We want everyone in our school to be able to access this space and enjoy the benefits of being outside immersed in nature. We would like to plant more trees around our school property to provide more shade and help reduce carbon emissions to fight climate change. Finally, we have a mission to reduce the number of plastic water bottles circulating in our school.
This year our Environmental Council at Jean Vanier CHS has challenged our students and staff to reduce the number of plastic water bottles circulating in our school. We have put up posters reminding students not to use plastic water bottles. We have purchased 50 reusable stainless steel water bottles to sell to the JV community. Finally, we have hosted regular school events and meetings without using any plastics at all.
Our second mission this year was to “green” our school property. We have planted 22 trees in an effort to make our school a more inviting, shady, and peaceful environment. Our Junior Jags Council has even made a prayer garden out of recycled stone so that our students and staff will have a peaceful place outside to meditate or pray. None of these projects would have occurred without the initiative, leadership, and engagement of our students on Environmental Council. Our students planned the projects, organized the duties, and performed the actions. Next year we hope our council is even more successful.
Reflection & Celebration
Financial constraints are always an issue and our main challenge with any initiative that we attempt. This year we spent a lot of money on soil. We were unable to purchase more mature trees or new tools because they cost too much. However, the tenacity and perseverance of our students overcame these obstacles. We used a lot of grit and elbow grease to transform a weed infested space into a beautiful garden. Every year our council will choose a few ways to improve our courtyard and “green” our spaces. Focussing on 1 project at a time will ensure ongoing success. Our next goal is to raise $2000 for a new water fountain on our second floor that allows students to easily refill their new reusable water bottles.