Those passing by O.S. Geiger School on a sunny June day would have seen groups of students highly engaged in an outdoor construction activity.
Where did this begin? Last fall, Grade 6 students enjoyed a fun-filled week of learning at Tim Horton’s Children’s Ranch. Now in May, the Grade 5 students had their turn at camp.
With thanks to sponsorship from the Tim Horton’s Children’s Foundation, the Grade 5/6 students have been working through the Community Leaders Program in partnership with CPAWS (Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society). This process saw them spend the school year working on a community service project to build garden boxes on our school grounds. They wrote proposals and letters, debated blueprint plans, and strengthened their mathematical skills through calculating the perimeter, area and volume of each garden plot.
In May, with the help of Jaclyn from CPAWS, the students planted seeds in our school greenhouse to start the vegetables. Jaclyn showed them how to make a newspaper planter to hold their seeds and soil. This planter could then be transplanted directly into their garden plots.
On June 1, the long anticipated garden box building day arrived! Students used their building skills to construct five cedar garden boxes. They lined the bottoms with landscape cloth, followed by a shallow layer of gravel. Next they filled each box with rich soil for growing and transplanted the vegetables started in our greenhouse. Throughout the day, we had the leadership of the counselors and program facilitators from the Tim Horton’s Children’s Ranch here to help us. Owners of the local Tim Horton’s, who generously support the Tim Horton’s Community Leaders Program, also visited us to see the construction occur.
Look for the garden by our Outdoor Classroom. In the fall, we plan to harvest the vegetables and make a food donation to the Calgary Food Bank. This year-long process aims to kick-start garden growing at O.S. Geiger School for years to come.