In 2013, the VSB and Fresh Roots built two schoolyard market gardens: 14,000 sq. ft. spaces where healthy food is grown for the school community. The gardens are outdoor classrooms for the schools as well as gathering places for the surrounding community. Teachers have begun exploring how to achieve BCâ€™s core curricular objectives in an outdoor classroom, engaging their students through new methods. We have piloted partnerships with neighbourhood houses where Newcomers to Canada and food insecure families grow friendships and knowledge in the gardens. The garden has become a place for the school and surrounding community to engage with learning and with one another.
As the gardens have grown, teachers, students, and community partners are asking for more workshops, programs and facilitated engagement, exploring core curriculum, sustainability and building community within the schoolyard market gardens. Roots in Community works with Fresh Roots to hire a community coordinator to develop, facilitate, and execute experiential learning opportunities for the school community.