Creating a Mindful Outdoor Space
Our vision for Canada is…that youth have access to mindful spaces in their schools both indoors and outdoors. Somewhere where they can go to reconnect with nature, take a breather, and decompress from their daily scholastic and social pressures and stress.
We feel that youth today are constantly bombarded by pressures that come with their social media connections. Levels of anxiety among youth have risen dramatically over the last few years and in most schools there simply isn’t a space dedicated for mindfulness/meditation and/or dedicated to student’s overall wellness and mental health.
Different groups within the school connected to petition the school administration for use of the courtyards. The groups have since began to clean up the outdoor space, raking leaves, getting rid of garbage and making the space more inviting.
The next stage of the project will include the planning of the landscape, potentially adding some planters and seating areas for the students.
We feel that by having this space in an inviting state, it will contribute to the overall atmosphere of the school. It will promote environmental stewardship and establish a connection with nature.
This project has brought many different groups together including our student council, environmental club, admin, teachers and a number of leaders and volunteers within the school.
This is a student led project, all clean up dates and the subsequent planning have been organized and carried out by the students. Students have met with administration and organized the vision of this project providing them a platform to exercise their leadership skills.
Reflection & Celebration
Even though we have not yet completed this project, we are foreseeing some possible challenges including the abuse and pollution of the space by some students. We plan tackle this challenge via awareness campaign including posters and announcements reminding students of the purpose of the space an their role in maintaining its upkeep.