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The Story of John Norquay: The School Garden Buzzzzing with Excitement

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At the Farm to School BC Spring Celebration, one of the schools SPEC works with, John Norquay Elementary, was awarded the highest award for a school garden. The Farm to School BC Pollinator Award recognizes Farm to School programs and school teams that act as pollinators within their community: buzzing around their gardens, kitchens and classrooms to build healthy food systems, transferring and sharing knowledge, fostering thriving learning environments, and supporting the development of young healthy “seeds”, who will grow up to one day offer the fruits of their labour back to the environment and community.1

This esteemed award went specifically to John Norquay’s school garden committee, which includes Valeria Kao (parent volunteer), Linda De Jardin (grade 6/7 teacher), and Ivy Chang (K/1 teacher) as well as the involvement of many others at the school, such as Gary Loong (grade 5/6 teacher), the school librarian/resident garden carpenter, Mark Warkentin, a very supportive current pri…

John Norquay Elementary Transplanting Session

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May 3rd

What a beautiful, sunny day to be outside! Today, students transplanted their leafy greens into the garden boxes. We were very impressed with how well the boc choy grew. Unfortunately, the lettuce seeds struggled to grow, but that happens sometimes. The grade four class spent the hour adding compost to their garden box and planting new lettuce seeds. Check out the photos! 








The Proof is in the Words

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Thanks to our many generous funders, we were able to deliver over 260 garden and environmental education workshops at 10 schools across Vancouver during the 2016 to 2017 school year.  Here are what some students at Thunderbird Elementary, Grenfell Elementary, and Brock Elementary Schools had to say about their experience in their school garden.







Replacing old garden boxes at Brock Elementary

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Thanks to the very generous Telus Community Grant we receive this year, we were able to fund the replacement of two old boxes at Brock Elementary School that were breaking down.  This process would have been impossible without the expertise and help of Mr. Russ Evans from Tupper Secondary School, as well as the hard working students and parents of Ms. Bishop's class.  Thank you all who made this possible!!!!
















Preparing for the Winter at Thunderbird Elementary

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Fall 2016: As the winter nears, and the rains pick up, students at our 10 schools have been busy getting the gardens ready for winter.

The students cover each garden box with leaves to protect the soil from the cold and rain, to feed the worms, and to add fertility back into the garden so that we can have rich soil waiting for us in the Spring.

TIP: Instead of putting your leaves in your green bin, you can use the leaves to mulch your garden over the winter, which protects the soil and adds nutrients back into the ground.

Pollinator gardens because we need bees...

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At Henry Hudson Elementary School, SPEC helped install four new garden boxes, to be filled with native plants that attract and provide food for bees and other pollinators.  Bee populations are on a decline, and as they are an important part of the human food supply, school gardens can play a role in helping them out in the urban environment.

SPEC would like to thank TD Friends of the Environment Foundation for providing funding for this project, and Home Depot for helping us with obtaining the necessary supplies.