I am the key facilitator of a group of incredibly talented and dedicated parents who shared my vision to create an edible garden for Haysboro School. Not only did they share it, they took the idea and turned it into something AWESOME. In the spring of 2012, my committee and a veritable army of volunteers will build the most unique edible garden in Calgary. It is our vision to blaze a trail for other schools to create one of a kind gardens of their own; to start an AWESOME revolution in education where it becomes as common place to dig in the dirt to learn as it is to sit at a desk and study subjects like science, math, and reading. We will create a beautiful outdoor classroom which will inspire the children to learn where food comes from, concepts of environmental sustainability, multicultural diversity in cuisine, social responsibility, and patience.
A crucial requirement of the garden design for me had to be uniqueness. I really wanted more than a bunch of cookie cutter boxes filled with dirt. I had visions of a classroom of students sitting on benches underneath a beautiful pergola looking out onto their garden. This would be an integral component of the outdoor classroom design. But equally as important, I also wanted unusually shaped raised beds. I gave these criteria to a fellow parent within the committee with the request to design us something AWESOME. She came up with the Dream Catcher concept. Half would be the seating under the shade of a pergola, the other half created by 7 raised beds (one for each class) and a seating area for the teacher in the middle. The ground surrounding the beds will be a 38 foot diameter circle made from Holland paving stones in multiple shades to depict the inner mosaic of a dream catcher. The "feathers" will be beds designed by the students in shape and form as we expand the project into the second year. In the space of 8 weeks we have grown from a group of 7 to a list of more than 50 volunteers willing to build, and maintain our vision. This is an AWESOME number when you consider there are only 133 families with their children attending our school. We have sold the idea to the community stakeholders and will create a Green Thumb Grandparents mentoring group. These are senior citizens in the community who would love the opportunity to share their knowledge with the children. The teachers are equally as excited about this venture as they currently work to tie curriculum requirements into the garden.
Funded by Calgary, AB (November 2011)