This particular section of the garden consists of donated indigenous trees and plants. During one of the school’s Journées Vertes (Green Days), the parent community brought in cuttings and saplings that students now nurture on their school grounds. As the trees grow big enough, they are transplanted to one of the larger gardens where students can see the results of their efforts.
As one adult member of the Georges-Étienne Cartier EcoTeam explains: “Nurturing and transplanting trees and shrubs is only a small part of the larger vision, which is to create an environment where students can deepen their connection to nature, and their role in protecting and conserving our natural resources.”
In the Maternelle des Arbres initiative, students were involved in each step, from caretaking trees to creating the hand-painted garden signs and: “Even using the word Maternelle (kindergarten) has an effect, as it immediately gives us an image of playful nurturing in a safe environment.”
Planting native species, student-led maintenance, and student-created signage are all best practices under the School Ground Greening section of Ontario EcoSchools certification. For more information on how your school can create your own School Ground Greening project, view our Program Guide.