This post was submitted to us by Principal Darren Seymour at John Graves Simcoe Public School, the school selected to receive the $20,000 re-greening prize during 2012’s CAA RecycleDrive.
Great things come to those who wait (and wish). For the past couple of years, the parents, staff, and students of JG Simcoe PS have been exploring ways in which we could improve our school yard. Consistently, we strive to increase and improve student achievement – that is our daily focus. What we know is that student and community engagement in school will serve to assist us in working toward our achievement goals. One of our plans was to create an outdoor learning environment.
With the support of the CAA and the Ontario Tire Stewardship, JG Simcoe was awarded $20 000 for school yard improvements. The award came about through their RecycleDrive campaign which was won by a local Kingston business, Car Medics. The owner of Car Medics, Phil Deveau, chose JG Simcoe PS as the recipient of the award. Truly, it was our good fortune!
To say that the JG Simcoe Greenspace has transformed a part of our school yard would be an understatement. Visually, the space we utilized for the Greenspace had all of the appeal of a fenced in vacant lot. Other than students and parents walking by it or through it, the space has gone unused for more than ten years. After we were awarded the $20 000, Terry Childs from Nature’s Way Landscaping, created the plans for what the Greenspace would look like. The plans were amazing but I still couldn’t imagine how they would look in reality.
Over the course of a few weeks in August, Terry and his partners from the Upper Canada Chapter of Landscape Ontario, came together to make the plans a reality. First, the lot was cleared and then came the greenery, recycled tire mulch, and limestone blocks. The results are truly better than we ever could have imagined.