Horticulture For Health
Environment and Business Specialist High Skills Major students (in Grade 11 & 12) worked to complete this “Horticulture For Health” Action Project. The SHSM students wanted to promote gardening, pollination, and the healthy benefits of horticulture and good health and wellbeing overall. The students also wanted to build community as students and teachers worked along side each other to complete this project and learn about nature and environment sustainability. Students wished to reduce inequalities by offering access to gardening materials and experiences to all students and staff by inviting them into the school’s large greenhouse for a unique experience.
This tied into the Religion curriculum with Environmental Stewardship and our Catholic Graduate Expectations of being a responsible citizen. During Catholic Education Week and beyond, we built community through environmental consciousness and creating an appreciation for nature, for planting flowers and plants, and for birds by painting birdhouses. We also strengthened our bond with the local senior residents down the street by offering some plants as a neighbourly gesture. We launched off of the theme for Catholic Education Week, which was “We are one, we are many”.
We wanted to promote gardening, pollination, and the healthy benefits of horticulture. This was accomplished in a few ways. We hosted “Horticulture For Health” in our greenhouse and cafeteria. Students in grades 9 to 12 had the opportunity to work in our greenhouse to create a potted plant to take home or paint a bird house to take to their backyard. In the greenhouse, students learned about the various types of indoor and outdoor plants and their benefits. Then they selected the ones they wanted and arranged them in a pot to take home and enjoy. In the cafeteria, students were able to take a break, slow down, learn about the benefits of pollination and take the time to paint a birdhouse. For both activities, the healthy benefits were highlighted and students were encouraged to try it again at home. We hoped that the experience in the greenhouse and the skills learned would be transferred to caring for the environment, an increased interest in gardening (and the health benefits that accompany that), and becoming a responsible citizen, which is a Catholic Graduate Expectation.
We consulted with a horticulturalist specialist at Mississauga Greenhouses to learn about the best type of plants for indoors and a good variety for outdoors. Then we researched what was available and carefully selected plants and materials. We utilized our school greenhouse to care for the plants until the event. A student took time and care to create an info sheet for the student population that explained the purpose of the event and some benefits of planting and potting. We also mentioned some information about our school’s Environment & Business Specialist High Skills Major programs, which may inspire students to look into it and join. We hoped that through this quality experiential learning that the horticulture Skilled Trade industry would be spotlighted and promoted, which may possibly ignite an interest in the field or as a healthy hobby.
Reflection & Celebration
The teacher who nurtured this project, Sonia Janik-Corvinelli (Specialist High Skills Major Lead) is very proud of the SHSM student leaders who hosted this Action Project. The SHSM students had wonderful ideas, took initiative, demonstrated enthusiasm and care, and put forth great effort. Congratulations on a wonderful project with intentional steps to make an environmental impact.
Check out our slideshow!