HISTORY
Many efforts over time.
DESIGN
Infrastructure & layout.
LEARNING
Student Experiences & Activities
PARTNERS
Volunteers & Community.
DONORS
Funders & Supporters.
INSIGHTS
Lessons Learned.
FUTURE
What's Next?
EVENTS
Annual & Upcoming.
CONTACTS
Garden Champions.
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Phoenix Elementary School Gardens 

HISTORY

In 2012, Michael and Jean-Marie Abelman built the garden beds and fence, and Jean-Marie coordinated the gardens for several years. She would bring flats of seedlings to plant, teach about soil-building, and about pests and gardening skills. For example, she had kids plant "a sacrificial potato" over the winter to attract wireworms away from other crops. She would help students gather weekly green salads and make their own salad dressings. During that time, the students would sell bags of extra salad greens. They also installed Mason Bee houses.

In 2013, they acquired a chicken coop from the GISS shop. Someone dropped off 11 roosters one day, and the kids looked after the birds. They also hatched chicks in the primary classroom. In 2017-18, students cared for goats in this past chicken pen, but then they died. They used the goat as their “composter” for extra food left over from occasional hot lunches and their new breakfast program.

They also have a cob pizza oven, covered with a shed roof that drains to two large rainwater catchment cisterns that were installed in 2017 with a grant from the SSI Foundation. 

DESIGN

With many raised beds, a large apple tree, a goat-paddock, cob pizza oven, and rainwater catchment, this school embraces garden learning. New parent volunteers recently took on the project. Approximately 2500 sq ft. About 20 ft from the main school building. The garden is easily accessible by all ages and abilities.

They have 7 raised garden beds and a newly planted Braeburn apple tree. There is also an animal shed and pen that has been used to house chickens and goats. We have a new water catchment system in place as well.

The garden has had various parents responsible for its management and upkeep over the years. This leads to different visions of how the garden should look and different types of gardening styles. Teachers and parents are very open to any input that the students might have.

A recent addition was the water catchment system that Phoenix Elementary received a grant from the Salt Spring Island Foundation for. And there are initial discussions of creating a Farm Stand.

LEARNING

There are 42 students attending Phoenix Elementary that all have access to the garden. Activities include planting seeds, weeding, watering, harvesting produce for hot lunch and/or breakfast programs. All kids have access to the garden for hand-picked snacks throughout the day.

""In the primary class, we have been enjoying planting in the garden and have learned a garden song. Hillary, our student teacher, has been teaching us about bees." from the May 9, 2018 Phoenix School Newsletter.

"The primary class has begun planting veggie starters for the garden. The primary and intermediate students have been working hard to distribute the cedar chips to the areas in need, and our rainwater tanks should be filling up nicely with all this rain." From the April 11, 2018 newsletter. 

PARTNERS

Teachers, students and parent volunteers have all been instrumental in keeping the garden active.

 

Parents have access to the garden especially in summer when school is not in session. Families are free to harvest produce and help water and weed throughout the summer and during other times of the year.

Artists in the Classrooms helped with the garden art over the years!

DONORS

Salt Spring Island Foundation for the rainwater harvesting system. The Phoenix PAC has supported these gardens over the years. Action Schools BC is supporting healthy eating and active outdoor learning in 2017-18.

INSIGHTS

Using fresh produce from the garden for the school's breakfast and lunch programs supports the school's values. Phoenix Elementary believes in providing healthy nutritious meals to fuel student's bodies and brains to support learning and academic success.

Cost of water and watering consistently throughout the summer have been problem areas.

Tours of other school gardens and information sharing in relation to successful garden programs and fundraising through gardening could be beneficial.

EVENTS

Everyone is welcome to volunteer and help maintain the garden. See contacts below to get in touch!

FUTURE

There are plans to add flowers to the garden and to start a Farm Stand as an ongoing school fundraiser to sell starts and produce!. We have dreams of a greenhouse in the garden. Cost of supplies is always a challenge especially in a small school where there is not a lot of access to funds. Summer watering and garden maintenance is another challenge. A green house would be beneficial to the school garden as it would help students prepare starts to be able to sell at a future farm stand and assist with reaching fundraising goals. In summer 2018, the school is installing a new timer and watering system. They would also like to organize more field trips to the GISS greenhouses and cafeteria program, plus other farms and school gardens. And, they'd like to plant more 

CONTACTS

Principal Dan Sparanese can be reached at Phoenix Elementary: 250-537-1156 dsparanese@sd64.org

Parent volunteer Will Harrison can be reached at wyylleeuum@gmail.com -- Krissy and Will are excited about the garden's potential --  all help in the garden is appreciated!

Also Susan Garside has been with the school for over 15 years and knows the garden history well! sgarside@sd64.org

School website is: https://phoenixelementaryschool.weebly.com/

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Phoenix PAC Meeting

Wednesday, September 2th at 3:15pm

Join school parents to discuss all sorts of great things.

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UPCOMING COMMUNITY EVENTS

 
 
 
 
 
 

Website contact: Robin riverjenkinson<@>gmail.com