Whole School to celebrate Earth Day

The Whole School welcomes interested parents and their children to Earth Day Celebrations happening Thursday, April 21.

Students at the Whole School in Winlaw are learning about permaculture.

Students at the Whole School in Winlaw are learning about permaculture.

The Whole School welcomes interested parents and their children to Earth Day Celebrations happening Thursday, April 21 from 2 to 5 p.m. at the school (5614 Highway 6 in Winlaw). Learn more about sustainability, food systems, and growing plants through interactive activities for children.

This year, students are exploring how their permaculture garden will help them reach their healthy living goals. Last year, with the Columbia Basin Trust’s support, the Whole School fenced the garden; this year students will learn the principles of permaculture design. They will use compost generated in the past few years through the bokashi composting system to start edible plants and herbs.

“The Whole School program emphasizes connection to the natural world through our outdoor leadership program,and now our permaculture gardening program. Earth Day is an important celebration for the students and the focus this year will be on food systems and designing the garden,” explains teacher Roxanne Mackay.

This spring, Whole School students and teachers will develop their garden design in consultation with local certified permaculture experts. The vision for the garden is to provide food for the school’s weekly hot lunch program that the students help prepare.

Additionally, the garden will give the children experience with permaculture design, the lifecycle of plants, and an opportunity to share their knowledge and skills in the community. “It is our hope that the garden will become a key piece of what makes our school unique a platform for learning and community engagement,” explains school co-ordinator Josée Corrigan.

Students will be key participants in garden design, building and upkeep. The garden will provide a healthy,outdoor space for curricular learning about growing food, nutrition, food preparation (through the hot lunch program) and food preservation.

Whole School students plan to work alongside community members, food bank clients, staff, and parent volunteers to grow healthy food and offer an education space about permaculture by leading tours and workshops for community members and other schools.