The Dreamacres Revitalization Project
Our vision for this project was to create a revitalized habitat for pollinators and to encourage both students and the local community to have a renewed interest in the environment. This purpose of this project was to address current environmental issues by creating a diverse habitat for bees, butterflies and other local pollinators. We also wanted to promote social well-being by encouraging community members to get involved in their community and help to make a connection with their child’s school through the presence of both Fall and Spring community “dig ins”.
In the Fall of 2019, following their attendance at the LSF Forum, Sunningdale students became inspired and began brainstorming project ideas and researching the costs of the various pollinator plants. Following several team meetings and the presentation of many ideas, the students decided that they would like to renew the school’s Butterfly Garden that was initially planted many years ago however had not been maintained throughout the past few years.
Unfortunately, the planting phase of this project was interrupted by the school closures due to COVID in March 2020. As a result, the initial revitalization plan had to be modified to a great extent however the students demonstrated resiliency and were determined to complete the project. While learning virtually during the school shutdown, some of the assigned activities included learning about pollinators and designing the Dreamacres Garden virtually using the pollinator plants that had been chosen earlier in the year. This was done in an effort to try and keep the students engaged in the process.
In October 2020, upon the return to school the planting proceeded and students were able to complete the modified project. Working together with Oakvillegreen, students were taught about the various species of plants and consequently developed ownership during the planting. They also vocalized with excitement how they would promise to remain committed to the school gardens over time and monitor their growth to ensure their success. Together, Sunningdale staff and students planted a total of 116 perennials which we hope is just the beginning of many great things to come.
Reflection & Celebration
Upon the completion of this project, we hope that our school gardens will continue to evolve and grow each year. They present many opportunities for student learning (e.g., learning about the life cycle of plants, identifying the importance of pollinators, planting seedlings, identifying invasive species) as well as opportunities related to learning skills (e.g., focus on developing responsibility and initiative). Our hope is that each year Sunningdale students and the local community will be provided with the opportunity to continue to contribute to the gardens in various ways, and that we will once again see a new renewed interest in supporting both pollinators and our Dreamacres Garden.