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Schoolyard Greening at Our Lady of Fatima

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 11:47 -- admin
photo of a group of youth planting a shrub

Our Lady of Fatima Catholic School (OLF), its school community and KidActive continue their year and a half long partnership. The team is transitioning the school’s wide-open, grassy green-space into a fun, exciting and healthy place for students and staff to learn, play and grow.

The schoolyard at OLF has made several significant changes with the support of three grant TD Friends of the Environment, Toyota Evergreen Learning Grounds and Whole Kids Foundation.

These grant funds have been used to add more green landscape features to the schoolyard. In the spring of 2014, four raised bed gardens were added using funds from Whole Kids and assistance from Be The Change Garden Project. Michelle Eady’s kindergarten class has taken on planting and caring for the garden, making direct links to inquiry based learning.

In September of 2015, several students and parent helpers, with the assistance of Meilleur Landscaping Design and Fencing, worked in the heat of the day to plant 21 new trees (a variety of coniferous and deciduous) and nine shrubs. Several of the trees and shrubs were strategically planted in order to create an outdoor meeting space, where in the spring, stone and log benches will be added. A few of the trees were placed around the existing play structure to provide shade where the students play. In the spring the students will continue to care for the newly planted trees and shrubs, strengthening their ownership and connection to their space and nature.

Principal Jeannie Armstrong has been committed to the project from day one. The school has plans to continue transforming the schoolyard over the coming years and will integrate a simple track around the perimeter of the yard to further encourage and support physical activity.

Slowly and steadily the yard will become a unique space for the students and community members to enjoy for years to come.

Author(s): 
Carly Meissner
Publication Date: 
Monday, March 16, 2015