Fleetwood Family Outdoor Classroom Project
Our vision for Canada is one where everyone is able to learn in comfort and find solace in natural spaces. Our students identified that they wanted to create and care for a space on the school grounds that could be used for learning, interacting with plants of FNMI significance, growing food, reducing water use, and providing habitat for local animals.
In the Spring of 2015, students began planning the space, selecting plants, and researching costs. It took several years of planning, revision, and raising funds, but this past September (2019) we were able to break ground on the first phase. The major landscaping (grass removal and planter bed install) and planting of trees/shrubs were the focus of the first round of work. The flowering plants, edible plants, and the majority of the FNMI bed will be planted in the spring after the last frost.
This is a space that will be accessible to the community at large, but specifically aims to improve the learning of our students. This is especially apparent when considering how they will be able to interact with plants significant to FNMI cultures, rather than just see them online or in books.
This is and always has been a student-driven project. There is potential for expansion and we will look for ways to get more out of the space as we go.
Reflection & Celebration
This is a legacy project that these kids will be able to take pride in for the rest of their lives. Learning took place every step of the way in the areas of technology, social studies, ecology, science, art; the list goes on. We have worked out a maintenance schedule with the City and the Nature Centre to care for the space during the summer months. The rest of the year will be hands-on student care.