Gimli High School Learning Garden Project
In 2011 Gimli High School embarked on designing and constructing a Learning Garden at our school. This project was initially spearheaded by two students, Mackenzie Harris and Emma Wear with the assistance of Cheryl Bailey and Lisa Pidwinski. Emma and Mackenzie designed the garden and applied for grants from Agrium and Nutrients for Life. Both grant applications were enthusiastically accepted as an innovative way of engaging students with nature and science. The Learning Garden Project is intended to link together many curricular areas such as: science, math, geography, foods and nutrition, and physical education.
In the fall of 2012, our Learning Garden was constructed and compost bins were added to the design. The compost bins were courtesy of a grant from Manitoba Eco-Network. Since the construction; we have been very busy preparing what plants we are planning to grow. As part of the Nutrients for Life grant, part of our garden design is to educate students about food security issues.
Students in Grade 11 math are currently drawing scale diagrams of the garden and calculating the maximum number of plants that can successfully grow in one of the rectangular garden beds. The Grade 12 Chemistry class will be testing the soil for nutrients and comparing it to results from a professional lab. Other classes are participating in the garden by composting and learning about food from the land. Our Envirothon teams will also be using our Learning Garden as a resource next year when the theme for Envirothon is Local Food Sources and Sustainable Agriculture.
Students have been actively involved in the planting of seeds and caring for the plants on a daily basis, and will continue to be involved throughout the summer months. When the produce is ready to harvest in the late fall we will use this opportunity to share what we have cultivated with; Evergreen Basic Needs, our school cafeteria and our annual Eat Lower on the Food Chain dinner as part of the discussion about food security.