Beattie Garden – Kamloops BC
James Gordon lives in Kamloops, BC and is a father of two sons. This is an initiative he took on with his sons’ school during his Master’s program.
The Beattie School of the Arts Outdoor Garden Classroom was officially started June 11, 2009. It started as a Masters program project and has since developed into a much loved and important part of this neighbourhood K to 7 school of 300+ students. The garden bed started as an old sand volleyball court and is now an organic vegetable and flower garden with sunflowers, potatoes, tomatoes, strawberries, broccoli, corn, zucchini, pumpkins, onions, herbs and more. It is part of regular school activities from late March to late June, and again from early September until early November. It’s located in the middle of the playground and is surrounded by an 8 foot fence to guard against soccer balls and pesky cats and dogs. A 30 foot built-in bench was added last year along one side of the garden so that an entire classroom can come and sit for an outdoor class.
A garden committee made up of parents and teachers oversees the operation and maintenance of the garden, and a senior student leadership group helps with many of the activities. During the ten summer weeks, ten volunteer families sign up to look after the garden and take care of watering, weeding and harvesting of any ripe produce. In September and October everything is harvested and students and teachers enjoy the ‘fruits of their labour’ in various ways.
The garden bed started as an old sand volleyball court and is now an organic vegetable and flower garden with sunflowers, potatoes, tomatoes, strawberries, broccoli, corn, zucchini, pumpkins, onions, herbs and more.
Future plans for the garden include the addition of a permanent blackboard, a cart full of 25 clipboards so each student has a firm surface to write/draw on, and the beginning of composting. The addition of a composting program will teach students about the full food cycle.