John Paul II Catholic Secondary School students can be seen building garden beds, planting seedlings, and harvesting crops as part of the school’s new Urban Garden Project.
The outdoor classroom launched after a survey declared a large portion of John Paul II students weren’t eating healthy, according to Canadian Food Guide standards.
The learning space aims at promoting healthier eating habits, and at teaching both students and members of the community how to manage an urban garden.
“I think that students nowadays, that’s what they want. There’s a huge movement with our students towards personal fitness, personal well being, and personal health – a lot more so than in my days when I was in high school.” John Paul II Principal, Dan Howard, says.
The garden also features a rainwater harvesting system which helps irrigate the garden.
The project was made possible after John Paul II received a $50,000 Healthy Eating Grant from the Ministry of Health and Education.
During the school year, the food grown in the Urban Garden Project will be used for the Jean Paul II breakfast program. The program will provide a healthy breakfast three days a week to approximately 250 students at Jean Paul II.
Crops that the garden is currently growing include:
- Bell peppers
- Egg plants
- Cherry tomatoes
The Urban Garden Project
Basil plant ready for harvest
Egg plant in the growing process