What’s growing on outside?
The Norquay Garden is an outdoor, interactive classroom where urban kids can grow plants, increase their environmental awareness and connect with nature. It’s a place where teachers can go beyond theory and the classroom and demonstrate ecology, science, biology and chemistry in action. It is an opportunity to promote healthy living and allows the community to experience the thrill of coming together to nurturing living things.
Through PAC financial support, Toyota Evergreen Learning Grounds Grants, a Whole Kids Foundation Grant, a Think & Eat Green @ School Grant, dedicated volunteer support and lots of enthusiasm, the garden can boast:
- A Native Plants Garden (established in 2007) featuring a variety of indigenous plants like Alpine Strawberries, Huckleberry, Jerusalem Artichoke, Lavender, Red Hot Poker, Red-Flowering Currant, Salal and Saskatoon Berry to mention just a few.
- A Food Garden (built in 3 phases starting in Fall 2014 and completed in Spring 2017) with a total of eighteen 4ft x 8ft raised planter boxes built to VSB specification
- A 3-bin compost (installed Fall 2016)
- 2 outdoor storage boxes
- A collection of gardening tools and supplies for students.
The garden is a 100% volunteer run initiative.
A vision for the garden:
The Garden Committee is hoping to continue to enhance the garden, so that all students can green their thumbs. Below is a list of goals the garden hopes to achieve in the next few years:
• The installation of a new water tap (to assist with watering)
• Signage for the garden (to discourage vandalism and raise awareness)
• Native plant plaques (for education and awareness)
• Plant fruit trees for a future orchard
• Provide more workshops for students and teachers on conservation, growing food and sustainability.
With dedicated enthusiasm and long-term commitment from the Norquay Community, the garden may even one day boast a Schoolyard Market Farm, a commercially producing educational farm on school land utilized as an outdoor classroom, like that at Vancouver Technical Secondary.
Help give students a green, creative experience
Making the garden bloom requires many hands and hearts working together. Helping out and participating in PAC fundraising initiatives like Pizza Lunch or purchasing Gift Certificates at Christmas or Purdy’s chocolates at Easter all help the garden grow.
If you prefer a more hands on approach, we sure could use them! From watering, weeding, hauling to leading, the Norquay community can only reap what it sows. We are looking for volunteers to help water (especially in the summer), collaborate with and lead development initiatives. Please send an email, we’d be thrilled to hear from you!