Our first sustainable garden and outdoor learning space opened up in Canada and we couldn’t have been more proud to celebrate with a ribbon cutting event which took place at the end of May. Rebecca MacDonald, Just Energy’s Executive Chair, joined PACT, our partner for the project, and school administration for the ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the official opening of the space.
We partnered with PACT Urban Peace Program to convert an existing garden at Elmbank Junior Middle Academy in Rexdale, into a “living classroom” complete with garden beds, fruit trees, bushes and dedicated teaching area for staff and students to benefit from. The transformed space is a first of its kind in the GTA and offers 600 students from junior kindergarten to grade 8, the opportunity to learn about pollination and bee hotels in the spring, to apple-pressing and cider making in the fall.
This also marks an important milestone for the school as Elmbank celebrated their 50th anniversary. Students and staff were involved as they helped to transform the gardens and outdoor learning space. Classes came together to plant their own class tree, and students were engaged throughout this unique educational experience. Children from a variety of diverse needs will not only use the gardens and outdoor learning space today, but for many years to come. The younger grades will be able to see their class tree grow and thrive, and all students will experience first-hand the goodness that the gardens and trees will produce while helping to feed the community.
Head over to our Facebook page for more pictures.