Raised Garden Beds
-Develop sustainable, accessible gardening systems that minimize the use of ground water and maintenance.
-Return agriculture to the urban environment to help more people realize our connection to the natural world.
The Green Industries class is designing and building raised garden beds to be installed beside our outdoor classroom. This will use rainwater captured from the metal roof of the classroom to irrigate the plants on a timer system, keeping them green through the summer, without constant human input. Any overflow through the system will feed a French drain and fountain where water tolerant species will be planted. The school is collaborating with the community garden group to make this another location for planting vegetables on our campus. Seedlings are started indoors on a grow table and aeroponic vertical gardens. Due to the raised height and location beside pathways, this garden will also be accessible for all ability levels.
This project was supported by LSF, who provided a grant for the project after GCVI students attended our Youth Leadership Forum in December, and Youth Fusion. Youth Fusion provides funding, staff, community mentors, and materials for local schools like GCVI to participate in a year-long Environmental Design program. Youth Fusion employs local university students to work alongside teachers for the full year, implementing the design, development, and creation of school green space improvements. Youth Fusion also provides access to year-long mentors like local Landscape Architect Paul Brydges to connect the youth to real-life industry professionals in the field. They are grateful for the community support from the University of Guelph, the City of Guelph, and the Upper Grand District School Board for making this project such a success!
Reflection & Celebration
-Solar panels and batteries have been installed (2017) in the gable end/rafters of the outdoor classroom to provide lighting and power for running the pump.
-Eaves trough will be installed on one side of the structure to fill water tanks.
-Frames are being built to house the raised planters with water tanks underneath (student developed design)
-Students have been experimenting with aeroponic, hydroponic, and aquaponic gardens, allowing them to learn about irrigation systems and their design/set up.
-Collaboration with community gardeners and the automatic watering system will ensure the program will be able to continue through the summer and beyond.