Soni Centre Multi-Level Action Plan


Our Grade 7 and 8 class from Goulbourn Middle School highly value the restorative qualities of nature and wanted to immerse ourselves in it for exploration and to take action to educate ourselves and others. We used creativity and resourcefulness to create an action plan with impacts at the school, regional, and provincial levels.

Our vision is to facilitate connections with nature and to build knowledge in order to inspire more thoughtfulness about sustainability, responsible development, climate change, and green spaces.


At the school level, we decided on a goal to diversify and expand our gardens. After becoming overgrown during the pandemic and losing two large trees, part of our birch tree, and some bushes from our front gardens due to disease, a derecho, and an ice storm, the entry of our school was not as diverse or as welcoming as we wanted it to be. About 25% of our school population came together in a variety of ways over four weeks to help plan, prep, plant, and maintain the gardens. We used our grant from Learning for a Sustainable Future in order to purchase a variety of plants, trees, and bushes. Our next step is to make this space an outdoor classroom where all students and staff can learn.

At the regional level, we met our goal to boost our energy and endorphins by hiking through a variety of protected lands in the Ottawa area. On two separate field trips, we were able to visit Ottawa’s Greenbelt, the Mer Bleue Bog (Canada’s largest urban bog), and the Luskville Falls Trail at the Eardley Escarpment. The Mer Bleue Bog is unique in that the area resembles a northern boreal landscape. The Luskville Falls Trail at the Eardley Escarpment includes waterfalls, two gorgeous lookouts, and a 4.2km hiking loop with a 300m elevation gain. The two lookouts are named after important local people, Chief Pontiac of the Ottawa Nation and Joseph Lusk, an early pioneer who farmed in the area. Both locations facilitated learning about regional history and the value of protected land both from a cultural and heritage perspective and also an environmental one. These locations are home to many species of regionally and significantly rare plants, birds and other wildlife. Greenbelts and green spaces also mitigate pollution, floods, and droughts. We all experienced firsthand the benefits of our adventures in nature. It boosted our moods, relaxed us, and gave us a chance to connect with ourselves, each other, and nature. With some resourcefulness, this part of our action plan was free.

At the provincial level, our action plan included a whole-class geographic inquiry on the Ontario Greenbelt that culminated in the creation of our educational student-created Greenbelt documentary. At the intermediate level, geography students study land-use conflicts, and our class often uses inquiry as a strategy for transformative learning. With our classmates answering questions like “What is the Greenbelt?”, “Why is having protected land important?”, “What is Bill 23?”, and “Why is the Greenbelt being developed?”, students created a comprehensive documentary in order to educate, inform, spread awareness, and inspire action. Our documentary, Greenbelt Land-Use Conflict in Ontario, runs 27 minutes and can be found on our Soni Centre in Action YouTube Page (see link).

Reflection & Celebration

The day after we published our documentary, we enjoyed a full-day nature field trip. Our school now has a large gardening branch to our ecoteam. The school community at large is energized by our new school entryway. Participating in this action plan has been an authentic and dynamic way to connect, learn and grow. We hope that you may increase the impact of our work by watching our documentary.


Check out our Action Plan Summary!

3. Good Health and Well-Being
4. Quality Education
6. Clean Water and Sanitation
9. Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
10. Reduced Inequalities
11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
12. Responsible Consumption and Production
13. Climate Action
15. Life on Land
17. Partnerships for the Goals
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