A.C.T.I.O.N. (Active Community Team In Our Neighbourhood)
School: Windermere Community Secondary
Votes Received: 852
CHECK OUT OUR POWERPOINT AND VIDEO TO SEE OUR GARDEN AND TEAM IN ACTION! Our involvement in the school and community has filled us with knowledge that has made us aware of our global impact. Food and agriculture are at the forefront of many environmental and social issues, ranging from climate change to exploitation of third world workers and migrant workers employed by large agribusiness. As we became more aware of the consequences of our food choices and eating habits, we felt that this would be an important issue to tackle in our school and were passionate about taking action. Working in the garden has provided an avenue for the cross-grade interaction of students at our school. Witnessing the different age groups working collaboratively has been an exciting development and transcends teenage stereotypes. A strong sense of community has developed within the youth involved in the garden as is evidenced by the large number of students participating throughout the summer. Our generation has also lost the connection to the origins of their food and the garden has proved to be an amazing way to re-establish that bond. The raising of awareness and experiential component of supporting and growing organic and locally produced food are a step in a positive direction towards social and environmental change. When the garden was started last year, we started small. The main issue then was planning out the location of the garden and getting around school board policies. There were many planning meetings with community members to help get the garden off the ground. After the building of our first beds, we had our very first transplanting session. Unfortunately, since this was a learning process for us, the crop suffered. Of course, we’re not all natural gardeners. So, with the help of the Environmental Youth Alliance, we tried again and were able to successfully grow a bountiful summer crop. Through the garden, we have established a composting system within our school and currently have the support of UBC students in implementing sustainable agriculture into the school's curriculum. This year, we’ve expanded on the number of garden beds and we had a plan to get a greenhouse. That had its challenges as well but, with the help of our principal we have received approval to build a greenhouse. Our long term goal includes running our greenhouse on solar power and expanding the garden by adding more raised beds. It's important to measure the growth of our food, but it’s even more important to us to measure the growth in our community, our peers and, in good time, the world.
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