Recommendations to support gardens at each of the schools made to the Gulf Islands SD64 Board of Education by presenters Robin Jenkinson, Toby Carson, and Katharine Byers on February 28, 2018.

Common Strengths and Values

  • Several links to the District strategic plan:
    1. Gets kids outside, healthy learning outdoors
    2. Strong community partnerships
    3. Opportunities for mentorship
  • District wide trend to expand garden-based learning with healthy eating
  • Many academic, emotional, and social benefits to students have been linked to spending time in school gardens, as well as emotional benefits to teachers

Common Challenges and Issues

  • Watering in the summer & getting occasionally charged for water
  • Need for more coordination around school gardening. Need a School Garden Coordinator
  • How the curriculum fits into the school garden for some teachers
  • Sustainability of the garden programs. Studies point to the need for clear administrative support. That is why we are here to gauge and gather support for the school gardens

Future Plans in the School Gardens

  • Learning Circle planned for late spring
  • Grant out to Island Health to support development of a Gulf Islands School Garden Calendar & a District-wide Pro-D Day
  • Earth Day garden work-party activities & June Harvest Celebration at SSE

Initial District Recommendations

  1. Hire a Garden Coordinator to share information & support programs
  2. If maintenance is going to charge for water, ask them to install water meters to document water use for food gardens
  3. Fund and support a Garden-Based Learning Pro-D Day for Gulf Islands Teachers
  4. Participate in Learning Circle with all schools
  5. Consider how to fund garden-based learning in the future
  6. Support for the development and compilation of garden learning resources (including online)