Spring is here again and with it the promise of your garden’s activity and bounty!
This year, as part of the Ontario 150th Anniversary celebrations, we are extending and expanding our annual event to build the network of school gardens, and to help build partnerships with local businesses and organizations to support your gardens over the years to come. School Gardens Celebration Week is May 15 to 19.
Because this year marks a special anniversary for our province, we are encouraging each of you to do something special with your garden celebrations. You can choose a day in the week for your celebration (or all the days!) and let us know your plans. A display about your gardens that can be posted in a public space in your school or organization is one way to draw added interest in your gardens. You can also share photos and videos of the display with us, and we can promote your efforts through social media. As part of your display, we request that you include logos for School Garden Celebration Week and Ontario 150, which you can access when you sign up.
For more information about this year’s event, please contact Coordinator David Fields at email@example.com.
This year, because we have generous support from the Ontario 150 Community Celebrations Program, we are able to offer support to each of you to help make your garden efforts sustainable now and over the years to come. Over the coming weeks, with your assistance, we will reach out to potential partners in your community who can provide resources for your gardens, be it volunteer help over the summer months, seeds and equipment or whatever your particular needs may be.
Thank you for your school garden efforts, and for participating in School Gardens Celebration Week! We will be in touch with over the coming weeks to share updates. If you have any questions or needs, please feel free to contact David Fields, Project Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With the passing of the Local Food Act (Bill 36) and the Healthy Kids Panel in serious consultation, the explosion of interest in good food continues to resound. Here in Toronto, City Council has passed the Toronto Agricultural Program which should support urban agriculture including school gardens.
The Ontario government is investing $30M million dollars in over the next three years (through the Local Food Fund), and one of its four categories includes “Education”. Now is the perfect time for school gardens to position themselves as critical components of food literacy programs and education about local food.
Please take the important first step of signing up with the Imagine A Garden In Every School Campaign www.agardenineveryschool.ca to lend your voice to the campaign. If you have a school garden you can also register it on the online map find-a-garden, and share information about your school garden with others. Together we can be a powerful voice for school gardens in Ontario.
A short survey about Ontario school gardens that should take less than five minutes to complete is also on the website here. We want to document successes and share knowledge about our common challenges. Your name will be entered in a draw to win a $100 dollar gift certificate from Urban Harvest or 30 Mark Cullen children’s trowels if you take the time to complete the survey before February 15, 2014. Just click this link to begin the garden survey. (For those who’ve already filled it out – don’t worry! You’ll be entered in the draw too!
This May 23rd we will be celebrating the second annual School Garden Day. Please email us at email@example.com to sign up and share in the celebration of our collective work.
Please join us to support school gardens across Ontario.
Please click here to complete the online survey created by Green Thumbs Growing Kids and Ecosource as part of The Ontario Edible Education Network’s Action Planning process.
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. There is so much exciting work going on in Ontaro’s school gardens – let’s learn from each other and come together to advance our cause!!!