John William Boich School Community Garden
Our vision for Canada is… a country where small communities are encouraged to come together, to work for the common good and strive to improve the health and well-being of our citizens. Our school’s community garden is an example of this vision. Our Junior and Senior eco-clubs are actively involved in the yearly planning, planting and maintenance of our vegetable and herb garden. We wanted to bring awareness to our school community of the importance of eating fresh, local food, as well as eating more fresh vegetables. This garden benefits families in our community who have access to fresh vegetables and participate in the care of the garden over the summer months. This is an important issue in our community, as well as across Canada, as many students do not eat the recommended servings of vegetables and many children do not know where food comes from.
Our project is addressing both the environmental and social dimensions of the issue. Our students are learning that eating local food is better for the environment, as we eliminate the need for transportation over long distances. They are also learning that fresh food is healthier for our bodies and tastes amazing. Each Spring, as we prepare our garden for planting, the students excitedly ask if they can eat some mint and chives. We are also encouraging in our students a sense of civic responsibility and stewardship for our community. Each Summer families from our community volunteer their time to maintain the vegetable garden, and enjoy the benefits of their labour. In addition, classroom teachers use the garden as an outdoor classroom. Learning in the garden provides a unique context for learning and serves to provide experiential learning outside the classroom. This allows students to foster a connection to local places and to develop a greater understanding of ecosystems. Natural environments like a vegetable garden can be used as a place of discovery, problem-solving, and active learning. Youth leadership is highlighted in this project, as our Junior and Senior Eco-clubs participate in the planning, planting and maintenance of the school garden each year.