Forest Grove School Garden Project


Forest Grove School Garden Project

School: Forest Grove Elementary

Votes Received: 214

• Our film documents the creation and subsequent experience of The Forest Grove Elementary School Garden built in May of 2011 as the first edible school garden in the Burnaby School District. • The Division 3 class made up of Grade 5 and 6 students passionately took up the task of creating the following film. Mentored by Barb McMahon of Sprouting Chefs ( and Todd Polich of the Earth Foundation (, the Division 3 students interviewed other students in the school, filmed and created the live skit, chose photos for the film, and were involved in every step of the process. Led by their teacher Ms. Amanda Parent, the students’ curriculum was also integrated into this film project for the BC Green Games. • Funded by a grant with the Home Depot Canada Foundation and supported by an established garden committee of parent volunteers, this garden was created as an outdoor classroom where the students of Forest Grove can learn all their traditional subjects in a garden setting. • By the spring, each division participated in seed growing classes before the garden was built to ensure whole school engagement. • On build day, the older students in the school participated in both the hands on build of the garden as well as the mathematics behind the dimensions, volume and perimeter of the garden. • An opening ceremony was held to celebrate our success where District Administrators, other interested elementary schools and community members were invited as well as representatives from the funding sponsors. • Before the school year of 2011 came to a close, the primary students were once again engaged in an art mural project spearheaded by the Earth Foundation. Funding was provided by both Kinder Morgan and the City of Burnaby to create a depiction of our edible garden with our beautiful forest setting as a background. Todd Polich from the Earth Foundation, worked with the students both inside the classroom and outside to fully engage their senses and create an appreciation of their environment. Our art mural area has become a quiet contemplative space that has engaged the youngest population of our school as well as a fun place for them to play. • In year 2, sustainability of our project and drive for the Forest Grove School Garden to become the model program in the district has been a main goal. Funding for a coordinator’s position to oversee the various maintenance, student engaged activities and scheduling of classes to participate in seed classes and cooking classes as well as a development of a summer program, are key to this success. Teachers this year are using the outdoor classroom garden for Silent Reading, Science, Social Studies, Art, Natural Resources Project, Health and Career and Math. • To continue to engage the students of the school as well as build community partnerships, we have created an After School Garden Club that is hosted by a volunteer parent. Local high schools have been invited to participate as EnviroMentors; building an important bridge between our younger eager students and older teens who come to lend a hand in the garden and share their environmental knowledge. More than the knowledge, they also provide positive role models for enthusiastic support of nature itself.


Mentors Consulted

Barb McMahon -Sprouting Chefs, Todd Polich -Earth Foundation


Green Schoolyard
Sustainable Development

© Science World British Columbia 2012