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Sherwood Park, AB. — Students at Mundare School are getting their hands dirty and learning about the benefits of growing local. Recently, students at the school planted various types of seeds to grow a community garden. “Every year, the Grade 4 class plants a garden offsite,” says Dalton, a Grade 8 student at Mundare School. “So, to have one here at the school is exciting for all of us. I’m not sure I’m going to like everything we’ve planted but I’ll try it all.”

For years the school has wanted its own onsite community garden but hasn’t had the proper boxes to grow produce in. That’s all changed thanks to students enrolled in Vegreville Composite High’s Career and Technology (CTS) construction program, who recently built two garden boxes for the school.

“When we heard Mundare School wanted to grow a community garden it just made sense to have our students build garden boxes for them,” says Joseph Clark, the director of Learning Services at Elk Island Public Schools (EIPS). “Not only is it cost effective it also offers our students valuable learning opportunities—new skills, high school credits and community building.”

The garden boxes are being cared for by leadership students at Mundare School, made up of more than 40 individuals in grades 7 and 8. All the produce harvested—radishes, lettuce, cilantro, dill, chives, sage, peppermint, basil and tarragon—will then be distributed throughout the school community. Next year, students plan to plant even more produce including squash, carrots, beans, garlic and strawberries—ingredients needed for a balanced, nutritional plate.

“The garden will complement what students are learning in class through a hands-on learning approach to gardening,” says Liane Schultz, the principal of Mundare School. “Ultimately, we want to foster a lifelong appreciation for local healthy food by teaching our learners about the food they eat, where it comes from and the resources required to grow it—skills that will serve them well throughout their lives.”

Special thanks needs to be given to the various donors who have made the project possible including EIPS, Vegreville Composite High and Mundare-based Darvonda Nurseries Ltd.

 

Mundare School serves approximately 170 students in pre-kindergarten to Grade 8 and is one of 42 schools within Elk Island Public Schools. More information about the school is available at www.mundareschool.ca.  

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For more information contact:
Liane Schultz, principal, Mundare School 780-764-3962
Laura McNabb, director, Communication Services, EIPS 780-417-8204 cell 780-405-4902