School Gardens are sprouting up all over Ontario! Contact us to add your school garden to the map for 2015 School Garden Biodiversity Day, May 22, and join our mailing list to stay up to date with IGES’ school garden news and events! The first 20 teachers/partners who add their school garden before May 22 will receive a free gift (hint: Biodiverse Bean Seeds!) from USC Canada.
Armadale Public School
From Christine Phillips, Teacher
My class along with the other grade 6 class at Armadale Public School has been approved for our biodiversity project. We participated in Environmental Leaders of Tomorrow program starting in February and went to camp in early March at Lake St. George. We have planned a tree, butterfly garden and a shade garden at our school, as well as, bat houses.
Bendale Business & Technical Institute
Katie German from FoodShare writes:
At our 1/4 acre market garden at Bendale Business and Technical Institute, we work with students in the horticulture program to run a productive farm on the front and back lawn of the school. On School Garden Biodiversity Day we will be getting new garden beds ready for our expansion this season. We will be increasing the variety of crops that we grow and also growing more world crops to be sold at FoodShare’s Good Food Markets. The new garden expansion is being designed by the Grade 12 horticulture students as part of their final culminating activity.
Five Mile Public School
Tammy Baxter writes:
Our small country school is entering it’s third year of gardening, with wonderful improvements each year! This year the grade 1/2 class will be growing pumpkins and using them in the fall for baking and carving jack-o-lanterns! The grade 6 class is working to clear an old garden site and replant it as a butterfly garden, attracting more insect life and beauty into our school yard. As well, the 6’s are making cement stones for the laying out of a human sun dial near the gardens. In previous years we used grant money, raised funds, and the sweat of students and parent volunteers, to construct a gazebo, plant 8 maple trees, many shrubs, 4 raised cedar garden beds and more! This once empty plot of grass has become a beautiful, education and inspirational area for students to enjoy. We’re looking forward to the projects this Spring!
From Binh Grealish, Teacher;
Gateway P.S. is in our second year of planting on our roof top garden. The grade 1’s and 3’s, along with our ECO club, will plant our “Pizza Garden”, along with vegetable beds and flower beds!
Holy Name of Jesus Elementary School
From Linda Benish, Teacher,
Last year when we joined our focus was on creating a Butterfly Garden. This year we are adding to that AND creating a vegetable garden for our school’s Day Care to use through out the summer for their children. The students in Grade 6, under the guidance of their teacher Ms. Frank, have been growing vegetables from seed in a miniature greenhouse in their classroom. Together the Grade 6’s and Grade 1’s (teacher Ms. Laskowsky) will work together planting seedlings and marigolds to keep the bugs away. They will also create bird feeders and butterfly feeders and place them around the school and in the two gardens.
Humewood Community School
Andrew Lister, HSP, HPE & Eco-Schools Chair, writes:
Our school is Humewood Community School and we are part of the TDSB Ecoschools program. This year Humewood has extended their garden by planting shrubs and flowers as it becomes a nature study area for all students in kindergarten to grade 8. For more, check out my blog and Twitter (@HEATisGreen).
Immaculate Conception School
From Sara Lotter:
Immaculate Conception School’s Green Squad, consisting of Grade 3 students, has begun plans for their raised veggie garden. We’ve planted our seeds and are watching them grow in our classroom. We are excited for warmer weather when we can get planting!
John Graves Simcoe P.S.
From Jamie Niedbala, Teacher,
We are an inner city school in Kingston with a number of produce gardens that our Grade 5/6 class maintain with the help of a wonderful cast of students from other grades, our eco-club and community volunteers. We currently have 4 gardens that include a variety of vegetables, herbs, cereals and a strawberry patch. We are in the planning stage for a new pumpkin patch/three sisters garden as well. Our gardens supply fresh produce to our students during the school year and to the Kingston community during the summer months.
Kids Growing City school gardens
Leila Mireskandari, Garden Educator, Kids Growing City, writes to list her partner schools:
1) Seneca Hill P.S., 625 Seneca Hill Dr, North York, ON, M2J 2W6, 5 cedar wooden beds in the courtyard of the school
2) Central Montessori School, Yorkmills Campus, 18 Coldwater Rd., Toronto, ON M3B 1Y7, 3 cedar beds with legs on top of concrete on the south + 4 little plots on the west
3) Central Montessori School, Maplehurst Campus, 181 Maplehurst Avenue, North York, ON, M2N 3C1, Many plastic square pots (1’X1′) for container gardening on the south on top of concrete
4) Central Montessori School, Thornhill Campus, 72 Steeles Ave. West, Thornhill, ON L4J 1A1, Many plastic square pots (1’X1′) for container gardening on the West side of playground on top of asphal
Lansdowne Public School
Trevor Bouck (teacher) writes:
Our school garden contains 5 raised bed for planting, a seating area, picnic tables and new this year a totem pole carved out of a tree stump of a tree that had to be removed.
Multiple schools in Riverdale
Elin Marley (Garden Educator) writes:
Every day is school day is school garden day for me, working as a School Garden Educator! See my blog here. Since I work at different schools every day, I can’t celebrate School Garden Biodiversity Day in all of the schools on May 22nd, but I’ll celebrate all week long instead, at Withrow Ave PS, Dundas St. PS, Blake St. PS, First Nations School of Toronto, and Essex JrPS/Hawthorne II Bilingual! We like to grow a range of different plants and some fun different varieties of carrots, kale, radishes, tomatoes, etc. And while weeding (especially garlic mustard and dog strangling vine), we learn about how invasive species can affect biodiversity. At the new shared school garden at Dundas and First Nations schools, we’ll be planting a native pollinator garden as well, so hopefully we’ll see a diversity of pollinators visiting our diversity of plants!
Nelson Mandela Park PS
Jean Rehder, Ariel Vente and Esther Cooper are doing garden activities on School Garden Biodiversity Day. Jean Rehder formerly taught Kindergarten here – starting and managing a garden for her students – and is now the Librarian. She’s managing a fantastic garden project that involves local families in summer. Ariel Vente and Esther Cooper are Grade 5/6 teachers here and are participating in Green Thumbs‘ Grade 6 Biodiversity program funded by TD-Friends of the Environment. Their classes are planting shade-tolerant native plants all around the school entrance.
PACT Grow to Learn school gardens
Natalie Bousted, PACT organizer, provides this list of schools with which PACT Grow to Learn partners:
John Polanyi Garden: 640 Lawrence Ave. West
Lakeshore Collegiate Garden: 350 Kipling Avenue
Thistletown Collegiate Garden: 20 Fordwhich Crescent
West Humber Collegiate Garden: 1675 Martin Grove Road
Elmbank Junior Middle Garden: 10 Pittsboro Drive
Emery Collegiate Institute Garden: 3395 Weston Road
Prince of Wales School
Andria Brusey writes:
Prince of Wales school is almost a century old and includes garden history in its lifeline. The current student generation have become Garden Guardians in working with parent and teacher volunteers to create an annual vegetable garden and naturalized native plant garden space for an outdoor classroom.
Our neighbour is General Electric who has staff involved recently to encourage the school gardening with their assistance in the maintenance of the grounds.
Thanks for including us! We submitted our silly seed exploits last year and would love the support again!
Rose Ave. PS
Green Thumbs Growing Kids partners with Rose Ave. PS to animate and provide summer care for the gardens. Garden development began in earnest in Spring 2007, with a design for a children’s garden in the part-sun location at the northwest corner of the property. Food production was expanded in 2010 with the building of three Earthblock beds by students and youth in the sunnier east side of the school, and in 2013 these beds were moved to an even sunnier spot on the south side of the playground. Teacher Dorothy Hwang spearheaded the planting of a number of native fruiting and beautiful shrubs all over the school grounds in 2015, and in 2016, two Kindergarten classes and two older grades are participating in the Garden Buddies program.
St. Brigid Catholic Elementary School
From Sue Luff, Parent and Garden Co-ordinator,
We have big plans this year to finish our entire front of school gardens, plant a vegetable crop with the local seniors and plant shrubbery around the base of our new outdoor classroom!!!! Lots of gardening going on at our school. We planted our gardens on May 20th that were funded by the adopt a plant program. We also dedicated our new Outdoor Classroom to a lost teacher……and we will be planting new gardens in this outdoor classroom in the fall. Lastly we started a garden club this year and we are beginning to plant vegetables with some local senior citizens later this week!
May 20th is our outdoor classroom grand opening and blessing! We have been prepping our school gardens in excitement for this day. We also have a garden rejuvenation program we are planting this year, and our adopt-a-plant program was a huge success in the fall. Our new gardening club of over 50 students have been hard at work, and plan to work with the local seniors to grow vegetables in a community plot this year as well. We are an extremely green school and love that this program exists. THANK YOU for recognizing the many students that help to make this planet a better place 🙂
St. Peter Enterphase
From Blair Sawa, Teacher,
We have developed an extensive garden program. Our garden program has been in operation for more than 5 years and each year is an exciting opportunity to try something new.
The Grove Community School & Alexander Muir Gladstone
Vaughan Secondary School
From Judie Pezzetta, Teacher,
Once again this year, Special Needs students are thrilled to participate in Garden Day on May 22/15. We will be planting many flowers and bulbs that day so will be sure to forward our pictures and write-up. Thanks for encouraging schools to participate. This is an event in which our students take such pride in participating!
Victory Public School
From Claire Coulter, parent:
We would LOVE to participate again this year. We will be hosting our garden opening day on May 27th, where we hope to have all classes digging in the dirt and planting as we did last year.
Winchester Jr. & Sr. PS
Meghan Stock (teacher) writes:
We have a large garden at Winchester PS. Green Thumbs helps us with the garden. On School Garden Biodiversity Day we will be having a drum circle in the garden to celebrate that day.
Woburn Jr Public School
From Fyffe daSilva, Teacher
We have applied for the TRCA Biodiversity Grant and are in the process of building a pollinator garden and solitary bee condos for our school yard!