Mount Douglas School Garden
We are in the process of building a 15x20m garden showcasing native indigenous plants from the endangered Garry Oak ecosystem such as camas, sea blush, and spring gold, as well as winter-grown vegetables, and native berry bushes. Our vision is to raise indigenous awareness within our school and surrounding community, and to provide fresh produce and an outdoor green space for all students. We hope to aid in the efforts to preserve the fragile Garry Oak ecosystem for future generations, and to promote environmental awareness.
This project has been two years in the works. In that time, we have applied for and received grants, in the hopes of being financially stable before we begin construction. We have contacted experts in the community and attended many information session across the city. We are currently collaborating with students, teachers and community groups to help design our garden, in order to supplement our research into native species, gardening methods, and permaculture techniques.
After getting the proper permission from our school and school district, we have begun to mark out the area and prepare the land, a process that has included smothering the grass and weeds to have easier access to the soil.
In future, we will build raised beds, treat the area with compost and leaf mulch to create additional soil, plant native and food plants, install an irrigation system, and create a school-wide composting system. In addition to harvesting plants, we hope to collaborate with many classes within the school, including science and biology classes, humanities classes studying local indigenous history, foods and nutrition classes, and woodworking classes, in order to encourage school-wide interest and engagement.
Reflection & Celebration
Our project is still ongoing, so we have not yet had a celebration of our accomplishments. We are, however, looking into the long term sustainability of our garden, and are reaching out to local elementary and middle schools, and indigenous and environmental community groups who might be interested in becoming involved in the project.