A School Garden that Strengthened Community Connections

Greenwood Elementary Healthy Eating, Mental Health & Well-being SD051 School Level Elementary Interior Health Authority Public

After successfully building a school garden, Greenwood Elementary School decided to make the focus of the next year using the garden to build connections between students, families and the community, while simultaneously promoting healthy eating. They used a Healthy Schools BC Grant to purchase a variety of vegetable seeds, and garden tools, including gloves, trowels, and a rake. In addition to the supplies purchased, the school received two rotating compost bins as a donation from community members. Students were involved in the project by planting seeds and collecting and delivering compost to the rotating bins. The school also hosted an evening event where students and families from their school, as well as students and families from a local primary feeder school, could come and create stepping stones for the garden.

What was the impact of the project? Through this project older students were able to connect with younger students by welcoming and teaching them about the garden and healthy eating. The compost bins provided an avenue for students to build relationships with community members, while learning about the food cycle and how food scraps can be reincorporated into the soil. Lastly, the stepping stone event created an avenue for the school to connect with local families. There were 60 stones in total created and added to the garden. The stones acted as a legacy for students who would be graduating to high school the next year, and as a way to connect to the younger students who would be attending Greenwood Elementary school in future years. Overall, the garden project was a great success in strengthening connections between the and the surrounding community.