Garden Rejuvenation Project
Our vision for Canada is… one where our country is fortified with prevailing senses of fellowship and equilibrium, not only within the diverse populations of our communities, but also between our quotidian lives and our environment. In our busy lives, it’s quite easy to overlook just how important nature is in our lives. We forget just how crucially fundamental a strong and vibrant natural environment is for our economy and social structures, our homes and neighbourhoods, and ultimately, to our health and happiness. In our modern day we are becoming increasingly dependent on technology, which weakens our connection to the natural world. It is therefore our desire to renew this essential relationship in order to foster greater sustainability and environmental stewardship throughout Canada. Through promoting environmental awareness and a sense of responsibility within our community, while working towards increasing nature’s presence in people’s’ everyday lives, it is our hope that we will propagate the virtues of respect and altruism for not only the environment, but for one another as well.
Our project helped students realize their leadership potential while promoting environmental activism at our school community. Especially for high school students, who may be lacking in valuable experience and skills, the idea of undertaking a large extracurricular venture may be daunting. In organizing and carrying out this patio garden rejuvenation project, the student body was shown that it is indeed possible to create meaningful and lasting change in the community through hard work and dedication. Furthermore, it taught essential gardening skills to students and staff alike, while providing the entire school population with the opportunity to go out and appreciate nature on a daily basis. It is our hope that visitors to our garden will be moved by the calming and rejuvenating effects of our nature sanctuary, and, emboldened and encouraged by our success, undertake similar projects of their own.
In order to make our vision for a more sustainable and environmentally aware Canada, our Environment Club decided to rejuvenate a patio area outside of our cafeteria and create a community garden. Through a generous contribution by the Learning for a Sustainable Foundation, school-based fundraisers, and monetary and plant donations by staff, students, and community members, our group was able to create a beautiful garden, filled with flora indigenous to Southwestern Ontario. We sought to restore nature’s presence in the lives of our staff and students, as many are unable to experience the revivifying effects of nature due to hectic academic, extracurricular, and work schedules. By creating a safe space outdoors for people to socialize, to study, and to relax and destress, it is our hope that the garden visitors will develop a greater appreciation for and awareness of our environment, and begin to implement a higher degree of stewardship in their daily lives. Our project actively engaged over 50 students and 4 teachers who participated in cleaning the area up and planting, and the garden will be open to everyone in the Banting community. Students were able to develop valuable leadership skills by taking the initiative to seek out donations, recruiting and managing volunteers, and by promoting the project through a school-wide assembly. Ultimately, this project allowed students to develop quintessential leadership experience and confidence; the project is a testament to the potential successes that can be accomplished by a dedicated, passionate, and hardworking team.