Green Space Rejuvenation
As Covid restrictions are lifted, the students at Makwendam Public School in Burlington proposed that we ‘restart’ the school’s Eco Club. In the past, the Eco Club, worked in and around the school to learn about and complete activities on the topics of environmental awareness and stewardship. To restart the club, students proposed that we begin by rejuvenating the current gardens at the school. A number of years ago, the school had planted a pollinator garden which surrounded the outdoor classroom which needs some more plants and maintenance. There is also a garden at the front of the school, which will need maintenance. These gardens will need to have invasives removed, soil turned, new soil/compost added and the addition of low maintenance native perennials. Through this work we will bring the community back to our school as we have lost many of these connections through COVID restrictions.
The students created a plan to dig out weeds and invasive ground cover, add more soil, plant some native perennials and add a thick layer of mulch to all of the front gardens as well as the four gardens in the outdoor classroom at the back of the school. Through the rejuvenation of the pollinator gardens, students learned about the importance of pollinators, how humans and climate change are affecting our pollinators, the importance of growing plants that are native to our region for local pollinators and how different plants support different pollinators and the effects of invasive species on pollinators. A group of students were responsible for mapping out the gardens and planning where the new plants would be planted. During this process, the students learned about the species of plants and which types of pollinators they attracted and how they supported the life cycles of certain insects (larval hosts). The Green Team also created two raised garden beds to grow some vegetables. This provided students with the opportunity to learn more about the growing process and what goes into growing our food. Once the plants mature, students will have the opportunity to harvest their veggies.
Reflection & Celebration
This was such a fun project to work on with our students! It gave students the opportunity to get outside and learn about their own environment and how humans can interact with the environment in a positive way. The students were so proud of all of their hard work and they are even more excited to watch their vegetables grow. It was a beautiful opportunity to bring our school community back together after so much time apart. It was incredible to watch the teamwork and positivity!