Outdoor Classroom as St. Thomas Aquinas School
To create an Outdoor Learning space with naturalized work spaces for students surrounded by native vegetation. This space would specialized for teachers to use to teach curriculum related to native species of plants. It would also offer opportunities for students to get closer an more often immersed in a naturalized environment.
Our project began in 2014. So far through funding initiatives within the school through local fundraising efforts, support from the Parent Council and support from grants such as the TD Environmental grant, the Learning for Sustainable Future and corporate support from The Black Dirt Company, Kiwi Nurseries and Sherwood’s Forest Tree Farm we have been able to plant over 10 trees, 20 shrubs and 3 flower beds full of native species to Alberta. We have also created naturalized looking tables with stump seating and 10 large boulders. We are able to continually add to our space thanks to both parental support through the Parent Council and with help from our Division Office.
Reflection & Celebration
This space has continually grown in use and support since it’s inception. We added boulders that are adorned as Stations of the Cross to infuse the space with religious meaning purpose for school celebrations. We have added an Indigenous Garden to help promote First Nation curricular outcomes. Finally, we recently added a Mary Garden. We have been unable to celebrate these recent additions, however our staff has been able to use this space as an eating and meeting area that is outdoors and allows for social distancing during the time of COVID.