Reading, writing and gardening

An innovative way to connect students to the food system

Credit: Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Kwantlen finds success in using outdoor classrooms to nurture young gardeners

In spring 2008, Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s School of Horticulture partnered with Douglas Park Community School in Langley to create an outdoor classroom. The garden was built in the university’s horticulture field lab by the Horticulture Technology Diploma and Landscape Apprenticeship students, with help and guidance from the faculty and staff. Local businesses and friends donated all the materials.For its efforts, Kwantlen received the BCLNA’s Environmental Stewardship Award.

2010 Healthy Garden Guide

More on sustainable gardening >

Kwantlen instructor P.J. Burns designed the space, and shares his know-how with budding gardeners. “Children crave a place where they can create or better still re-create their connection to the natural world through their senses. As grown-ups, it is our responsibility to provide opportunities for our children to connect to the world. What better place than a garden to introduce children to the wonder of nature?”

Paris Marshall Smith and Arzeena Hamir, co-authored School Year Gardens, available through the Richmond Fruit Tree Project. “A garden can become a valuable stage from which students can build on and apply the lessons of Science, Math, Social Studies, English, Language Arts and Social Responsibility.” And joy. And fun.