Our Canada Project | Winner
We are a small close-knit community who are eager to give back and help anyone we can. We hope to grow many different plants including herbs, fruits, vegetables, and flowers. We hope to have a variable of different plants that we can harvest and use for our science and hospitality. We also hope to harvest food from our greenhouse that we can donate to our local food bank and homeless shelters. We want to use the greenhouse to showcase the plants that are grown in the Holland Marsh. We want to include the greenhouse in the school’s science curriculum so that students learn how to use land and preserve it. As a school, we believe that these are important life skills students should have. This is because we live in such a traditional farming community that was founded in the 1880s by the Dutch people. Originally the marsh was a giant swamp that the Dutch settlers drained. They made a drainage system and learned to grow and live on the land. Now with modern advances in technology, the old ways of our community have been lost. As a school, we feel it is important to show where Bradford and the Marsh started and how plants grow and the different conditions needed to grow.
Holy Trinity is a school that loves to take action. Over some time we worked together to restore the greenhouse. The greenhouse has sat untouched as a storage room for over 20 years. Some of the teachers that now teach here that went to the school when they were younger have seen it as nothing more than a storage room. So as a social justice club, assisted by the green team, we took on the project of cleaning it out and restoring it to what it once was. To accomplish this we had people during the winter clean out the greenhouse and wash the inside. Then after the repairs were completed we went to local partners in the community. We had three different greenhouses, local stores and farming supply stores. They helped us succeed by donating seeds, tools, and other equipment to help us with maintaining and caring for our greenhouse. We tried to bring our school together along with the partners in our community to make this dream our club and teachers had back in the fall a reality. We have worked with the teachers in the science department to ensure the success of the greenhouse over the years to come by integrating it into the curriculum and giving students lifelong skills of how to care for plants etc. The group in charge of this project is the social justice club at our school which is directed by students. So youth leadership is at the forefront of this project meaning that the students are in charge of everything to do with the greenhouse. We wanted to engage the students of our school and show them what our community is for and how it happens.
Reflection & Celebration
The challenges we encountered were at first trying to get the administration in our school to fix the problems and take the desks out of the greenhouse and they weren’t cooperative. Eventually, by being persistent, we got them to fix the issues with the greenhouse including emptying it out, fixing the power and re-insulating it. We also had issues with people not being on the same schedule meaning that not everyone had time to work on the greenhouse or have the main role in it like they wanted to. The successes that we had was that the greenhouse is now running automatically. We have many people volunteering to water and take care of the greenhouse. We have made a part of the social justice club dedicated specifically to being in charge of the greenhouse. We have had some students take charge and organize a schedule for the greenhouse. We also join forces with the green team at our school and collaborate on ideas for our greenhouse. We will ensure the ongoing sustainability of this project by if we get a grant by improving equipment, getting more planters, and varieties of seeds and try to do different kinds of plants. We also have put in place a presentation for next year on how to plant seeds, what we can plant in the greenhouse and what other plants can be planted with each other. This presentation will be given to all the science and biology classes and the social justice club. We have put main people on a committee next so that they are in charge and if new people want to join this committee they can. But we have the main people in place so that the science department and social justice club keeps going and the greenhouse flourishes over the years to come.