IGES School Garden Day on May 24th

About School Garden Day

“Learning outside is fun, so learning becomes fun … taking people out of the classroom to give them a different lens on the world is very important, and I believe this is one of the big things that gardens do”.

Dr. Roberta Bondar at the 2012 Imagine A Garden In Every School campaign launch.

About School Garden Day:

On May 24th 2013, Castlebridge Public School, Ecosource and the Imagine A Garden In Every School campaign (IGES) are coming together to celebrate the first annual School Garden Day. IGES will also be announcing the launch of an exciting new tool to share information and successes in school gardening. The School Food Gardening Survey will collect the stories, successes and challenges of school gardening across Ontario.The survey will inform the creation of a tool kit that will make it easier for schools to create and sustain gardens.

“In the many years I’ve worked with kids in gardens, it seems that children can’t get enough of the garden-based learning activities, all year long. The grownups who are supporting this type of learning should be celebrated, along with the students who love their gardens! Let’s make the 24th of May School Garden Day”

Sunday Harrison, initiator of the IGES campaign.

Join us on May 24th as we celebrate School Garden Day, launch the survey online, and recognize the story of Castlebridge PS as the first of many great ideas in our province to be shared!  For more details please contact us if you would like to know more about the event.

You can also help us get the word out about School Garden Day and the School Food Garden Survey by following us and tweeting @GardInSchoolsand or you can find us on Facebook, Imagine A Garden In Every School. Leading up to May 24th be sure to use #SchoolGardenDay #IGES to create some buzz!

Results from the School GardenSurvey will be shared through the IGES website and the Ontario Edible Education Network and will be compiled into a report that showcases the successes of Ontario’s school garden projects. On  this website there is space for gardens to sign up, share stories about their projects and connect to school garden resources. Our goal is to foster strong links between garden initiatives so that we can celebrate together, share common challenges, share resources and support one another.

About the Castlebridge PS Garden:

Castlebridge Public School is an elementary school in Mississauga, in the Peel District School Board. The work of the Castlebridge PS is a great example of a school community taking on a gardening project in several stages, applying a whole-school approach to engaging the broader community to build support and increase capacity to move from classroom planter boxes to a long term vision of converting an old baseball diamond into a garden oasis. Gardening can be a new skill for many, but by using simple

classroom planters, enthusiasm and capacity are building, while also achieving the goal of sharing the many benefits of gardening in a low-tech, easy to do manner.

Says teacher Shamima Basrai, “At this point we are starting with indoor greening; eight classrooms will be planting herbs and vegetables in their rooms. They are using self watering containers (thank you Ecosource for sharing this idea!) created by our dedicated high school student volunteer. The thought is to get students and teachers excited about the whole growing and harvesting experience. At the same time we also want to get students’ input on the outdoor garden design, so we are having a design contest to see how they envision an outdoor learning space.” Says teacher David Markus, “at Castlebridge we’re doing a great job of growing delicious treats, and more importantly, smiles!” Feedback so far from staff, students and parents has been very supportive, and the design and planning process for a larger outdoor initiative is underway. Join us on May 24th to learn more about the exciting work happening at Castlebridge!

Support for the Castlebridge PS Gardening initiative has been provided by the Ecosource-York University Certificate Course, and the Mississauga Sustainable Urban Agriculture (MSURA) Project.

The Ecosource –York U Certificate Course is a unique professional development course focused on Whole-School Approaches to Educating for Sustainability.Through hands-on learning, teachers and administrators learn the latest tools and strategies for environmental education. Simultaneously, participants receive help to initiate a whole-school environmental action campaign, based on the needs of their school. This initiative is generously supported by the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, and the Earth Day Canada Community Environment Fund.

The MSURA Project is led by Ecosource in collaboration with the Eden Community Food Bank, with support from the City of Mississauga and the University of Toronto Mississauga. Together we are working to increase access to fresh healthy food and sustainable food growing education in our community. This initiative is generously supported by the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

The Imagine a Garden In Every School is generously supported by The Heart and Stroke Foundation and TPH The Printing House.