Making Our School Green
Ecole Parc Green Space Past, Present, Future
In 2013 École Parc Élémentaire was established in our current space which was an old junior high school. The playground, with the exception of a basketball court, did not exist. The green space was a blank slate. The Ecole Parc Fundraising Society was established as the fundraising arm of school council and with grant money and many parent volunteers the main playground structure on the east side of the school was built.
Skip ahead to 2016, the weeds were taking over, the shrubs needed pruning, red shale filing the beds at the front of the school was a mess, and the courtyard was a sad unused space. Who was going to fix it? Someone needed to fix it!
Did you know that the green space surrounding the school is the responsibility of the parent school council? Elk Island Public School contracts the City of Fort Saskatchewan to cut the grass but we are required to maintain the rest.
Learning that the 'who' was the parents, school council began the Green Space Improvement Project in an effort to better coordinate maintenance and improvements to the aging green space. With a lot of grant writing and fundraising support from our Ecole Parc families over the years we have been able to clean up the landscaping, plant new trees, develop the courtyard into a play space and outdoor classroom, establish a garden program and much more.
The green space project is an ongoing project as every year there is maintenance to be done and new ideas to be executed. If you are interested in what has been done and where we are going next you can see all the details on the school website under the Parents School Council tab.
2022 Annual Green Space Update
The Fence in the courtyard was put up in October 2022. The fence is the last piece of the Shell grant for Indigenous Land-Based Learning Spaces in Elk Island Public Schools. The main purpose of the fence is to keep our PALS and other young students safe when using the outdoor space.
This summer we had a few trees replaced thanks to "The Landscaping Company" who were very gracious in offering us a guarantee on the trees that didn't quite make it through winter.
The Staff have been very good at teaching the recess crowds about respect and care for our new baby plants and trees.
Our courtyard was renamed in honour of Elder Wilson Bearhead who started us on our land based learning journey. Every addition and decision made to improve our Greenspace for the students is done with the land based learning philosophy and Elder Wilson's teachings in mind.
In August 2022 we put down the sidewalk activity stencils with the help of a DOW Canada grant and DOW volunteers.
The Sidewalk stencils are reusable and available to be loaned out to schools and organizations.
This coming year, as grants and fundraising permit, we will continue to add elements to our green space that enable students to engage in creative play, foster the land based learning concept, and help teachers use the outdoor classroom space. As well, we will be maintaining the existing infrastructure and plants. If you have questions about the green space or want to support ongoing initiatives contact Jennifer Dechaine at Jennifer.firstname.lastname@example.org
The grade 4 Garden Club was able to run again this Spring with the enthusiastic leadership from M. Verhoeff. The students plant and maintain 5 raised beds at the front of the school. We also have two raised beds in the courtyard with perennials planted in them.
Stencils for Community Use
With the help of DOW Canada, we purchased sidewalk stencils that are available for loan for your school or organization.
Animal Footprints - Buffalo, Cayote, Bird, Moose, Bear, Beaver
Seven Sacred Teachings in both French and English (10" tall)
- Love - Amour
- Truth - Vérité
- Wisdom - Sagesse
- Courage - Courage
Respect - Respect
Humility - Humilité
Honesty - Honneteté
Custom Playground River - Water, Canoe, Reeds, Fish, Turtle, Beaver, Feather, Frog
Accompanying activity words in French and English (6" tall)
Jump - Sauter
Skip - Sautiller
Hop - Bondir
Fly - Voler
Crawl - Ramper
Swim - Nager
Paddle - Pagayer
Spin - Tourner
Contact email@example.com for inquiries and more photos.
THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR SUPPORT IN OUR PROJECTS TO BETTER ENHANCE OUR STUDENTS' LEARNING SPACE HERE AT EPE.
Ecole Parc Families
City of Fort Saskatchewan
Rotary Club of Fort Saskatchewan
Grow Your Own Project (Dennis Stelmack)
The Landscaping Company
The Solamillo Family