Grand View P.S. Green Roof Action Project


Outside of the library windows at Grand View P.S. is a green roof space that was not living up to its full potential. We felt it was in need of a makeover. We hoped that by redesigning the green roof, with the help of some grant money, that we would invite local bugs, bees and birds to thrive there while also creating a ‘cool’er learning environment for the students at Grand View P.S.

A small group of students who were motivated to extend their learning outside the class, were invited to dig deeper into the scientific process by researching native plants, designing the garden, budgeting for the project, and documenting the process from start to finish.

This Action Project ran from March 4th up until the week of May 22nd.


Our school has a green roof, but it has not been taken care of in many years. We wanted to give our roof a makeover!

This is important to our community because green roofs remove heat from the air, and reduce the temperature of the roof surface. Green roofs also make homes for bugs, birds and other wildlife.

We were inspired us to do this because:
Bella – “I love to be creative and I like fun stuff.”
Carson – “I came here because I thought it would be fun and it’s a bit different then normal school activities.”
Ethan – “I came because I like to help out with things and I think it will be fun.”
Ashwin – “I want to be here because I could use what I learn to help in my grandpa’s garden.”
Isaiah – “I wanted to do something different than a normal class.”
Pierce – “I wanted to join because I think it’s fun working with people.”
Jake – “I want to know how to do 3D design.”
Emma – “I’m here because I like plants.”
Trin – “I want to use the chromebook for work and for fun and I also wanted to help with the garden.”
Kinsey – “I am here because I thought it would be fun to get to know about plants and their needs.”

Our project helps with sustainability and climate change because green roofs can reduce energy consumption requirements by helping the building stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Green roofs also help to purify the air and provide a home for native species.

We started our green roof project by researching perennials that were native to Ontario as well as drought and heat tolerant. Then we researched the local animals, birds and bugs that may come to our garden. After that, we needed the green light to go ahead with planting the garden, but we didn’t think we would be able to after we learned about previous leaks from our rooftop. We had meetings with the facility manager and he gave us the go ahead that we needed. Thankfully, we did not need to use our plan B location! After all of that, Mr. Slade, our custodian, was able to flip over the media that was currently in the green roof containers in preparation for the removal of the old plants and weeds. While we waited for the plants to come to the school, we started making posters about the local types of birds and insects that we expect to see.

Teacher view:
To add on to our answer above, Jessica, Amanda (Principal), and myself wanted to offer the students a unique opportunity to expand their thinking and reasoning within our shared indoor/outdoor learning environment. We wanted to focus on using the scientific process to align with our curriculum, and encourage collaboration amongst like-minded peers. The students were engaged from the start of the project up until today when we finally planted the new materials. We had hidden leaders stand out from the crowd and shy students find their voice.

The project added value to our school community because it allowed us to highlight an area of our school that was previously overlooked. Although the green roof was pre-existing, it had not been maintained or acknowledged for many years. By starting the project, we sparked conversations about the importance of green spaces, such as a green roof and attracted the attention of not only our enrichment group but students throughout the school. As we progressed through the project, it provided an opportunity for students to take ownership over a part of their school community and to use their creativity to find ways to attract wildlife to our shared space. It was a pleasure to listen to their ideas and to see how excited they were to learn that our project will continue to strengthen our ecosystem. As a result of this project, NVK nurseries has offered us the opportunity to continue the evolution of our green roof in the fall by trialing their flower nets on the unused garden space.

Reflection & Celebration

We hope to continue this project next fall. We have gained a new partner through NVK nurseries. The students are very proud of their research and interactive space, and would like to showcase their learning at our June assembly.


Check out our video, here!

4. Quality Education
11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
13. Climate Action
15. Life on Land
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