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Project Details

Burnaby, BC, Canada

Caio Krause-Conradt

Project Lead

The BMSS Garden Project connects students to gardening and allows them to connect with nature. Relevant environmental topics can be discussed and addressed by implementing gardening into students' everyday lives. The project sprouts seeds to support elementary school gardening programs, creating community connections and resilience.

Project Description

The BMSS Garden Project is run at Burnaby Mountain Secondary School’s greenhouse and outdoor garden spaces. Through after-school gardening sessions and workshops, it allows students to learn how to add sustainability to their everyday lives. It provides space for discussing soil degradation, food waste, compost, fertilizers, climate change, and other relevant topics. Through gardening, planting food, planting native plants and many more activities, like composting and building hoop houses, the project teaches everyday solutions to issues our planet is facing. It also creates the space for students to care for their mental and physical health, connect with nature and the community, and learn to adapt to climate change. In partnership with the Sprouting Chefs Society, part of the project includes sprouting seeds for garden programs in elementary schools, connecting younger kids to youth, starting these discussions and bringing sustainability from a young age. The project connects the school community; part of the food grown is used in elementary and high school cooking classes, and the food scraps are added to the project’s compost. The garden spaces are used for reconciliation projects, and language teachers explore some plants and their cultural value in the countries in which the language they teach originates. The project provides methods to address increasing food costs, eco-anxiety, and other things through implementing sustainability and gardening in students’ daily lives.

This project has been created in commemoration of the lives of all the victims of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, including two Ocean Bridge ambassadors, Danielle Moore and Micah Messent. We aspire to carry on their legacy and commitment to making the world a better place by creating long-lasting impacts with a firm commitment to driving positive change for the environment and our ocean. We will never forget the light that Danielle and Micah brought to the world and will continue to keep them in our hearts. To learn more about these two amazing people, please visit: Honouring Danielle and Micah  – Ocean Wise. This work is partially funded by the Commemoration Fund for Victims of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 Tragedy.

What was your biggest challenge?

My biggest challenge was communication in a few different ways. First, with the school administration who must approve every activity. Their busy schedules and the school district’s many restrictions taught me to plan well ahead and be adaptable by developing alternative ways of running activities to reach the same goal before presenting the ideas. The second communication challenge was with other students and balancing our different availabilities. Students often suddenly became unavailable due to newly assigned schoolwork, didn’t show up to the activity and didn’t let me know. I started sending out RSVPs with reminders an hour before the activity and rescheduled when most students could not participate anymore. Lastly was keeping up with Instagram posts and sending out reminders of the sessions. To solve it, I planned days to send reminders and set alarms on my phone. I also created templates to make this communication less time-consuming.

What was your most valuable takeaway?

Everyday sustainable activities like gardening are powerful tools to solve environmental issues. It allows us to care for our health, connect with the community and address other problems, like social issues, while helping the planet. By starting a change in habits from a young age, like engaging kids in gardening and sustainability, people practice reflecting on their actions, making them and those around them more aware of how they can positively impact the planet. Projects like the BMSS Garden Project can help shape our communities into a future with less ecological footprints.

BMSS Garden Project

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