Our action project involved creating a community garden. I teach a group of asylum seeker students at the DevHotel in Cornwall, Ontario. My students are all new Canadians who speak very little English. This project started as an initiative to engage them in real-world learning and to have an opportunity for hands-on experiences. Being at the hotel has been a very different experience for educators, students, and families. We wanted to create a community garden for the residents in order to foster a sense of community and activity here. This garden will be a source of food for the families as well as a community activity throughout the summer months. We also partnered with a local high school class to help us build the garden. This garden will give families from many different parts of the world an opportunity to interact with each other and come together while providing local healthy food sources.
Since March, the students have been involved in the planning of the garden. We talked about site location, we measured the area, the students dug out the grass and helped lay landscape fabric, and they filled the beds with soil. A partnership with a local high school class helped us assemble the frames for the garden beds. Next, we will be adding our plants with the help of a community gardening group. We have been growing plants from seed in the classroom on our own and with the help of a hydroponic growing system donated by ZipGrow.
Reflection & Celebration
This project has been a wonderful experience for staff and students. We hope it will engage the families at the hotel over the summer and provide them with a sustainable, healthy food source. We hope to have a picnic in this garden once the plants are put in and maybe again in the fall with the harvest.
Check out this video on our project!