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Canada: De-Colonizing Local Ecology: Learning Medicinal And Food Uses Of Native Plants

Charles Dickens Elementary in Vancouver – The beginning of our project this year included designing and building a geodesic greenhouse. The students used applied skills criteria and Math to plan, design and build a working greenhouse. This greenhouse will be used to extend the growing season at our school.

Science World’s BC Green Games


Charles Dicken’s Elementary School has been working on an outdoor learning space for several years. The original building design included Leeds environmental criteria, which included a rooftop garden. Over the last few years we have been developing the outdoor garden into a dynamic learning space as part of a 3 year plan. This year our goal is to integrate aboriginal food and medicine plants into our outdoor learning space. Dickens has a long time running Green Team/ environmental club that includes year round activities.

Last year we had close to 300 children involved in gardening and environmental projects. We recycled close to 10000 cans to fund our environment projects. We created 2 new worm composting bins and 2 stationary composting bins. We turned our rooftop space into a community garden that included classrooms, members of the Green Team, and individual students. We renewed the soil by collecting and composting leftovers from Sky Harvest Microgreens to ammend our soil. We planted a cherry tree and an apple tree for a shady spot to read. (sadly our apple tree broke) We involved children from kindergarten to grade 7 in our gardening program. We had a group called “We Like to Build Things” and we built birdhouses, a potting bench, a potato frame and 2 new composters. We are also encouraging a collaboration with several crows that are nesting above our classroom.

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