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Edible School Grounds Workshop Leads to School Garden Network

Kootenay Lake School District hosted a workshop on Edible School Grounds that brought together over 50 people to explore the successes and challenges of school gardens. A School Garden Network was formed to share information on setting up school gardens, to provide guidelines for operations and maintenance and to share information on funding sources. Word about their good work is spreading as interest in the network now extends beyond their school district to other Interior schools.

 “This has been an exciting initiative that has quickly generated a lot of interest in our communities about healthy food and sustainability,” said Louise Poole, Health Promoting Schools Coordinator with Interior Health. “We look forward to seeing what the future holds as we move forward.”    

 School food activities do not stop with school gardens but also include programs to deal with organic waste. In West Kelowna’s Glenrosa Middle School, 180 Grade 7 students involved in their school garden program started a composting program for organic waste from the garden and their lunches. Students, staff and parents worked together to build wildlife-proof composters that are now helping to teach students even more about ecology, sustainability and the environment.

 At the Osoyoos Indian Band’s SenPokChin School, Principal Heather Kelliher brought together 100 students from Kindergarten to Grade 3 and local parents to help hatch chicks for the school’s Chicken House Project. The project helped teach students about the life cycle of the chicken and soon these same chickens will be laying eggs for the school’s breakfast and lunch programs.

 “This project will have many benefits for our students and our community,” said Kelliher. “It links education to real life while teaching children the vital skills to be self sufficient and produce their own food in the future. Because it is a school and community project, it also provides us with the opportunity to model these skills for the whole community. ” Public health inspectors note that schools wishing to start a chicken program should check first with their local government office about any zoning limitations before proceeding to the planning stage.

 

School Project Contacts:

Mary Anna Cimbaro, Home Economic Teacher, Glenrosa Middle School, 250-768-1889

Heather Kelliher, Principal, SenPokChin School, 250-498-2019

Jennie Barron, Edible School Grounds Network Coordinator, 250-352-5740   

Louise Poole, Health Promoting Schools Coordinator for Kootenay Lake School District, 250-825-9202

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Making it Happen: Healthy Eating at School
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