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Our Canada Project | Third
Jack Layton Award | Honourable Mention

Vision

We envision a school that grows its own food, reduces waste through composting and recycling, and promotes individual and collective environmental responsibility. We aim to combat nature deficit disorder in youth and educate children in the processes of food production. Especially in an urban setting, it is crucial that schools address these issues and give today's youth the chance to take control of their own mental health, nutrition, and global impact.

Action

Since the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year, a group of dedicated parents and teachers have been working towards the establishment of Royal Vale's very first vegetable garden. Through fundraising, grants, and community donations, enough money was raised to purchase a grow station, complete with organic seeds, pots, domes, and soil. From March until May, students from Kindergarten to Grade 11 learned how to sow seeds, transplant seedlings, and water appropriately. Students also helped mix compost, remove the grass from the garden plot, and mark pathways with wood chips. On Saturday, May 24th, Royal Vale held a very successful garden inauguration party. The day started with a basic gardening workshop led by Lauren Pochereva from Action Communiterre, a local non-profit organization promoting food security. We then transplanted all the seedlings outdoors and had a communal picnic. School families have signed up for summer watering and weeding in the garden. Produce will be weighed, recorded, and then enjoyed by the involved families. Come autumn, we will have another party to share the fall harvest. The next steps include buying a large school composter and organizing a compost pick-up system for each class. We also plan to hire Ms. Pochereva again in order to help teachers incorporate the garden into the current curriculum. Finally, we aim to increase the size of the garden each year and eventually use the produce in the school cafeteria.