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Brick Street School

Project type: 
Greening our Schoolyards

Spring 2006

Brick Street School, located off Commissioners Road in south London, started its Penny Lane Park with penny drive. The park is now filled with native trees and shrubs and provides a place for students to learn and play.

ReForest London provided funding and advice to continue the expansion of the park, which is used by the neighbourhood as well. Ten new shade trees were added to the park as well as a butterfly garden.

The garden is in its twelfth successful year. The first year saw two trees (1 ½ “ in diameter) planted and the Board installed a water line. In 1995, 17 trees were planted, one for each class at Brick Street . The following year, an additional 9 were planted. Today we have 45 trees, with 6 minor gardens throughout the park. Two of the gardens are intended as habitats for butterflies, using flowers native to the area. Funding for the larger of the two was supplied by ReForest London and planted just this past spring.

There are laneways through out the park, which were put in place by the Piccoli family, parents of Brick Street students. They also donated and installed the rock circle, which serves as a meeting area for the students of the school. Benches, purchased by the committee, offer quiet places to sit and read, admire the gardens or daydream.

The park was conceived as a project in October of 1994. Dr. Alan Riley, the JK/SK teacher at Brick Street presented a written proposal to Mr. Robson, the Brick Street Principal. When Dr. Riley was a schoolboy in England , there was a park near his school to which he used to go and climb trees and daydream.

There are five guiding principles upon which the park was developed:

  1. To create an area in the playground where students, staff, and community can appreciate and study natural flora and the wildlife it encourages.
  2. To provide opportunities for students to integrate studies in science to the outdoors. The park will provide an on-site observatory for aspects of the environmental science curriculum.
  3. To develop an awareness of and respect for nature.
  4. To actively accept the responsibility for preservation and protection of our natural environment.
  5. To provide an aesthetically appealing outdoor classroom for quiet reflection, art, drama, music, language study and other community events.

Muriel Andreae, Penny Lane Park Committee Member, had the major responsibility for developing the park plan. A design competition was held with the landscape and design students at Fanshawe College to help in the final design.

A plaque commemorating the 12 year old park.

The butterfly garden has a detailed planting plan.

Compost enriches the soil prior to planting

The butterfly garden is laid out for planting

Parents and their children work together to keep the gardens healthy

Soil testing is one of the many ways that the school integrates the garden into the curriculum.