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05 Dec 2014 5:00 PM • 2305 West 7th Ave., Vancouver

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SPEC School Gardens Program

The Idea

Food gardens at schools are where kids learn about how the sun, water and soil connect with plants, people and our planet. 

What we do?

Our goal is simple: connect children to their food, to each other, to nature and to their community.

Started by SPEC volunteers in 2008, the SPEC School Gardens Program brings food gardens and food education to 8 schools in Vancouver. 

School children learn about food security and how to grow their own organic fruits and veggies, while teachers learn to incorporate fun and thought provoking agricultural topics into their curriculum. Discussing food issues has proven to be a powerful way to engage children in various science, social studies, math, and health and nutrition topics already written into the BC curriculum.

Hot off the press!!! SPEC just published a garden curriculum package, named “Green Thumbs at School: SPEC Food Garden Lesson Book, comprised of 9 lesson plans for teachers, activity sheets, and 12 colourful posters. The lessons teach children about soils, worms, composting, how seeds travel, seed saving, leaves and how they work, flowers and pollinators, insects in the garden, and planning and designing food gardens. The lessons support the BC Ministry of Education Integrated Resource Package (IRP) Guidelines for Science. The package can be accessed for free here. These lesson plans will be used by SPEC educators to continue delivering high quality lessons to partnering schools, as well as accessible via the internet and in print to teachers and other organizations to use to deliver similar lessons in other classrooms in Vancouver and beyond.

This initiative was made possible by funding provided by the Vancouver Foundation. 

Vancouver Foundation logo


School Gardens Program Coordination
Catriona Gordon
cagordon@telus.net

Nikoo Boroumand
nikoo@spec.bc.ca

The Schools

We have helped establish organic food gardens at Bayview Community School, General Brock Elementary, Henry Hudson Elementary School, Kitsilano Secondary School, L'Ecole Bilingue, Queen Elizabeth Elementary, Sir Wilfred Grenfell Community School, and Thunderbird Elementary.


View SPEC School Gardens Projects in a larger map

Our supporters

This project is primarily funded by SPEC donors, the Vancouver Foundation, Think & Eat Green @ School, Lululemon Athletica, Whole Foods Market, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation,the Province of British Columbia through its BC Gaming Community Grant, BC Hydro, Gaia Green and School Parents.

Testimonials & Thank-You Letters





Media

Starting a School Garden

Looking to start an organic school food garden or new ideas for your existing project?

  • SPEC's School Gardens Start Up Guide
  • NEW!! Consultations Available.

    SPEC now offers consultations for existing or planned school food gardens and orchards. The consultation consists of an on-site visit to discuss and determine best garden locations, aspect, water sources, planting schedule, best suited fruit and vegetable varieties, composting systems, materials sourcing, maintenance planning and funding sources. For existing gardens recommendations will be made for improvements and possible expansion. A follow-up written report will also be included. Fees are based on a sliding scale and funding might be available, though limited, to support lower income schools. Please contact us for more information.

  • Other resources:
  • Are you ready to start a School Garden?  Apply to be a SPEC School Gardens Program School by filling out the Application Form and submitting it to cagordon(at)telus.net.  Current funding allows us provide the full program only to existing program schools but SPEC is able to conduct consultations and a limited number of lessons or activities to new qualifying schools.  Facilitators may be able to provide advice and additional resources within Metro Vancouver upon request.
2305 West 7th Ave, Vancouver BC V6K 1Y4 | tel: 604-736-7732  | www.spec.bc.ca | admin@spec.bc.ca
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