At the Edge of the Playground

Organization Sponsor: Halifax Independent School

Organization Partner: Ecology Action Center

URLs: 

Program Description

Students in the Connaught Avenue elementary school's gardening and landscaping club have teamed up with Ecology action centre volunteers to create their own sustainable food source on the edges of their playground.

Kyle Milne, who co-ordinated the program on behalf of the Ecology Action Centre's urban garden project last year, hosted workshops with the students on various gardening subjects, from worm composting to herbs and spices.

Kids attending the camp maintained the beds throughout the summer. Then, through the school year, the landscaping club harvests the fall crop, prepares the beds for winter, learns about gardening and works on planning the spring beds.

Last year's fall crop produced 60 bags of fresh vegetables and herbs for the local food bank, as well as contributions to the school's cafeteria.

Through the after-school urban garden club, Halifax Independant school harvested the vegetables and incorporated the food into the classroom.

Funding Sources: 

Ecology Action Center

Strategies For Sustainability: 

This project was easy to start because the beds were already in place and it was inexpensive to start the gardens. The cost of the coordinator was the most expensive. This is project involved most of the school community. It was done as an after school and summer project. The school was able to work with NSPIRG (Nova Scotia Public Interest Research Group).

Impact Of Program: 

This project had an impact on the school community and an understanding of gardening and food project.

Evaluation Tools: 

Feedback from the school participants and parents.

Key Elements Towards Success: 

Having a project coordinator to guide the development of the program. The Ecology Action Center has been able to hire a summer student for the last 4 years of this project. They also had a strong partnership with the Dalhousie Seymore Greens Community Organic Gardens and staff.

Challenges To Meet Them: 

Sometimes getting kids to work in the earth and deal with bugs is a challenge.

Length and Stage of Project: 

This project is on going. It began in 2004.

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