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Schoolyard Greening - University Heights Public School

Project type: 
Greening our Schoolyards
Year: 
2017
Season: 
Spring
Location: 
Northwest

On May 17, 2017, we had the pleasure of planting 7 new schoolyard trees with students at University Heights Public School, as an extension to their Outdoor Classroom. Over the past few years, the staff at University Heights have slowly been converting an old, unused baseball diamond into a thriving and functional outdoor classroom for primary students. The space already has seating, a sandbox, raised garden beds, trees, herb gardens, shade structure with potting bench, art wall features, and more. 

We were pleased to add 6 large shade trees and one apple tree to this amazing space. This space is used daily during outdoor education periods, and the large trees were planted around the edge of the classroom, to grow to provide shade for years to come. 

Principal Joe Sheik was instrumental in helping to organize this project and planting, and recruited eager Grade 6-8 planters who did a superb job in planting trees. A group of primary students came out to assist with watering the new trees, too. 

Some of the trees were being planted right at the edge of the existing ball diamond. Once the students dug through about 4 to 5 inches of "chips and dust" (gravel), we were thrilled to find rich loam soil underneath; a perfect setting for the Basswood, Tulip and Hackberry trees that were placed there. 

During the winter, students at University Heights P.S. also grew ~100 baby tree seedlings as part of their participation in the School Community Tree Challenge.

In addition, University Heights hosted a tree-mendously successful Tree Depot in early May 2017. We're so proud to have partnered with this fantastically enthusiastic group this year. During every step of the way, a genine appreciation of nature and trees was apparent - and a true sense of community at this great school. 

 

Our thanks go to Ontario Trillium Foundation, The Government of Ontario (ON 150 Partnerships Program), the Walter J Blackburn Foundation, and CN EcoConnexsions for support with the program this year. And of course, we couldn't do it without the support and expertise provided by the staff and crew at Little Creek Tree Farm.