Henry Hudson Elementary students and teachers worked throughout the school year learning about gardening and getting their hands dirty. But the results of their labours weren't just in the plants they harvested; skills and concepts outside of gardening were also incorporated into the project.
The building of the garden beds involved real world skills such as math, geometry and carpentry. The garden itself was essentially a massive earth science experiment, where students tested various soil compositions, created compost, used worms, and designed the garden to meet each of the plants needs.
"The garden has truly been a learning experience for myself, and for the students," says Dominic Maggiolo, a Hudson Grade3/4 teacher. "My students have had the opportunity to put valuable skills, not often learned in school, into action."
And as all good gardeners know, not every plant survives. For the students at Hudson, if a plant died, students were taught why this cycle happened and it became learning experience.
Maggiolo says that the community garden became more than just a classroom. "My students and I don't view the space we enter each day as a classroom, but more so a workshop, a hub for creation and discovery," he says. "I can't emphasize enough the importance and value a school garden has on a community and students."
The Hudson School Community Garden Project, was built through a partnership with the Vancouver School Board, SPEC and lululemon athletica's metta movement. The purpose was to provide hands-on food gardening education to students and teachers at Henry Hudson.
Says Maggiolo, "School gardens are outdoor classrooms with so many possibilities to learn from. I could only hope that this very movement be expanded and explored by everyone."
Maggiolo would like to acknowledge the generous help and contributions from two other Hudson teachers Lourdes Meza and Jane Perrella, the Hudson Greening Committee, the VSB, SPEC, lululemon's Meta Movement, Hudson parents and the Kitsilano and Henry Hudson community.
To learn more about the Henry Husdon Community Garden, go to their web page: Hudson School Community Garden Project