What a wonderful start to the winter season! We have been busying ourselves with worms, compost, paper making and learning about how to take care of the planet one small step at a time. It has been fun trying to get the kids to think about their lunches, how much of it is garbage and how much we can actually reuse, reduce and recycle. Most of all, we have had fun playing with, holding and feeding the worms with food directly from their snacks and lunches. These kids are all brave enough to play with them, well actually it is hard to get them to put them back in the bin.
Looking forward to the spring session where we will start up with our seedlings, planting and gardening and generally getting the kids outside, gardening and getting their hands in the dirt!
Happy Valentines day and lots of love to you all!
Teprine Baldo – Green Club tutor.
Managing waste is a contemporary issue that is putting increasing pressure on our environment, both social and natural. As part of Green Club, students spent the month of January and February 2014 reflecting on the nature of trash and how to deal with it in more responsible ways. From recycling to composting (even composting with worms!), students were able to recognize that some of the things we throw out can be quite useful when reused!
Among the activities proposed, the paper-making session turned out to be a huge success! Students were invited to collect used paper found around the school, shred it into tiny bits and turn it into paper pulp using warm water and a blender. A screen was then used to create new sheets of paper with a crafty look! Students were very interested by the whole process and surprised to learn that the basically the same methods are used in recycling facilities around Montreal.
Written by Green Tutor Laurence Fauteux
This internship is designed to create urban farmers who are interested in taking their veggies to market, while also working collectively to design and manage a typical scale community garden plot. Beginning in early March, students will embark on a full season of running a small scale urban garden market, from seedlings to garden to market to preservation, ending in late October. Bringing the farm internship to the city!
Schoolyard gardens are a growing innovation in alternative education spaces. As a space, gardens offer kids the chance to take ownership and feel proud of the way in which their school grounds look. Not only this, but we are seeing immense opportunities for offering regular curriculum classes in the garden, especially topics such as science, art, and health.
This program is ideal for someone who is interested in working with youth, but who is also motivated to plan and manage a garden for an entire season… no small task!
We are accepting applications on a rolling basis – so act fast – as space is limited!
This past fall we began our Green Club’s in 15 different daycare’s with a brand new staff of Tutors and Green Advisor! Each week we took our program of environmental education into schools ranging from as far west as St. Monica, all the way up north to Our Lady of Pompei and eastwards to Edward Murphy and Gerald McShane. We educated over 170 daycare students on topics ranging from tree identification, and leaf art, to cartography and bird house making.
Green tutors Teprine and Laurence extended the curriculum that had been established in the first 3 years of the green club, bringing their own perspective to the program. We are planning for even more schools in the Winter session, and will be busy writing grants and designing new gardens to be installed at selected schools.
Happy Holidays to all Green Club members, and the educators and technicians who help to make our program an exciting moment in our students week.
Please take a look at some of the pictures from the Fall programing of the Green Club!
As our season of gardening has come to a close, some exciting upgrades have been made at a number or our schools. BASE’s Green Initiative Advisor Marcus Lobb met with daycare technicians and wood worker colleagues of his to plan out some important upgrades.
Gerald McShane added a 3-bin composter to their beautiful garden just as the season was coming to end, and the garlic had been planted. This bin, which is made entirely out of cedar, will be able to handle all of the compost that is created by the garden, and also by their in-school composting program. The composter is built so that once the organic matter has broken down you can easily open up the lower doors and remove the rich humus and add it back into the the garden with a shovel. A composter such as this is needed whenever you have a large garden, as the smaller black ones cannot manage the amount of vegetation that is being added on a weekly basis. This compster should last upwards of 15 years if taken care of. A worth-while investment!
John Caboto upgraded their planter box garden by attaching seating to the side of their planter boxes. What they created was an outdoor classroom space capable of seating over 20 students. As you can see in the pictures attached, Green Club members are more than enthused about the recent additions!
Saint Monica made the biggest changes to their magnificent garden with the addition of an outdoor classroom, a two-bin composter and two large planter boxes equipped with seating. The project which was funded by the EMSB Green Plan Award will now make available seating for over 30 students at a given time.
A much needed addition to the garden was a large scale composter that could handle the needs of such a large educational garden. The composter was designed so that you can remove the front panels once the organic matter has broken down into valuable compost. This detail makes for easy shoveling by the students.
Also exciting are the two new large planter boxes with benches attached. These two boxes will be the home to numerous perennial flowers and other plants, acting as the entrance point for the garden.
And lastly, but also the most exciting, is the new outdoor classroom that was built around the pre existing arbor. The benches are attached to planter boxes that will have flowers and other climbing plants growing up and onto the pergola next summer. The seating can hold over 20 students, and gives teachers at the school an alternative setting for holding lessons.