Golden Learning Centre’s Planting Projects


Our vision is for students to gain a greater understanding of the interdependence of humans and nature. By learning about the importance of pollinators to food production and then planting both pollinator plants and a vegetable garden, students will have a greater respect for nature and understand how they can contribute to sustainable practices.


As a Certified Eco school, Golden Learning Centre is always working on projects to keep our certification and the Learning for a Sustainable Future Action Project provided the necessary funds. The 3 projects, planting trees, pollinator plants and a vegetable garden, are important projects that align with the curriculum and provide hands-on learning about sustainable food practices. As the pathways/prep coverage teacher, I can work with a variety of classes and groups of students. I have taken groups of Grade 7/8 students and had them lead, research and participate in the 3 key projects this year.

The planting of the pollinator garden started with the Grade 6/7 class learning about capillary rise and building an indoor grow station with a capillary rise self watering system on April 1st. Our climate in Northwestern Ontario means a shorter growing season, so everything must be started indoors. The students in Grade 1/2 and Grade 2/3 classes then learned about the importance of bees and the need for pollinator plants. They planted seeds of pollinator plants such as marigolds, dahlias, Shasta daisies and Gazanias in recycled plastic lettuce, strawberry and other take out containers. The seeds were donated by a local gardener that taught the proper planting of each type of seed and eliminated the need to purchase seeds.

A group of interested Grade 6/7 and 8 students took a trip to our local greenhouse where they learned about a variety of plants that made the best pollinators. Upon returning to the school, a group of Grade 8 students researched about pollinator plants to create signs to mark the pollinator plants in our garden.
The Grade 6/7 class then made disposable pots using our pot makers ordered from Lee Valley which was more environmentally friendly than purchasing actual disposable pots. We could make as many pots as needed instead of limiting ourselves to just the number of pots purchased. We did get creative and reuse plastic fruit and pudding cups to transplant some flowers. The Grade 6/7 class transplanted the seedlings on April 29th. Three Grade 7/8 students then instructed the grade 1/2 and 2/3 classes in painting pots and planting the extra donated marigold seeds to take home for Mother’s Day.

At the time of submission, our pollinator plants are still sitting under grow lights in the classroom as the weather has not cooperated this year and the building of our garden has been postponed due to rain.

During Earth Week, we studied how we can reduce our carbon footprint by growing our own food and how this can also save our families money. On April 29th, the students in Grades 1/2 and 2/3 planted vegetables like kale, broccoli, tomatoes and squash. The squash seeds donated were from 800 year old squash. The students were surprised to learn that we would be harvesting this food to eat and make muffins and things for the Breakfast Club in the fall. The students in Grade 7 had a presentation by AgScape to learn about local foods and the economics of growing your own food. The indoor greenhouse has been expanded to 2 levels as we had frost and snow last week. We have had to push back our actual garden building until Monday, May 30th. At this time a local contractor is coming to the school to build the garden for the vegetables with the Grade 6, 7 & 8 students to incorporate learning some important carpentry skills. Upon completion of the garden, we will transplant our vegetables and flowers outside with the same groups of students. We used our seed money to purchase trowels to do the planting. Grade 8 students have signed up to water the garden for community hours over the summer.

Our trees, donated by a local forest company, were planted by the students in Grade 7/8 students under the instruction of Mr. Partridge, our local forester. These trees will be a great addition to our school yard which doesn’t have a single coniferous tree growing on it, which is kind of ironic considering we live in Northern Ontario.

Thank you again for the extension and for the funding to make these projects possible.

Reflection & Celebration

This has been an amazing process. I have at times been overwhelmed in coordinating the community volunteers and the classroom, but have watched the learning take place and know it has been well worth it. I must confess my photos and written summary does not do this project justice. Our actual planting of the gardens will happen after the due date and if you choose our project, please contact me for more photos of our finished product.

1. No Poverty
11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
13. Climate Action
15. Life on Land
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