Outdoor classroom project created by students at Immaculate Conception

Grade 8 students from Immaculate Conception CES celebrated the opening of their Outdoor Classroom today, despite the rainy weather. During the school year, students in Mike Martone’s class planned and contracted the building of an outdoor classroom that will be used for years to come.

“Partnering with GreenUP on this project was an experience that this group of students will remember forever,” shares Martone, “What students have accomplished by constructing this Outdoor Classroom does not just benefit them as individual students, but will benefit Immaculate Conception School students of the future.”

Martone also shared that students acted as sub-contractors on this project, which gave them opportunities to put math and science into action, as well as develop their soft skills.

“Students learned how to work with budgets, have conversations with contractors, negotiate prices, and take on various other roles within the

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group setting,” explained Martone.

This school retrofit was made possible through funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation and has been facilitated by GreenUP’s Wonders of Water (WOW) program. The WOW program incorporates classroom education and school retrofits that protect and preserve water in our community. The Outdoor Classroom features log benches donated by Simply Trees and specially designed garden containers that use 80% less water than traditional gardening. Thank you also to PVNC staff, Lorne’s Slinger Service, and Kingdon Timber Mart for supporting the project.

Students in Mr. Martone’s class worked on a number of deep learning projects that have engaged their school in nature, mental health, and physical health themes. The other projects include the creation of a school cycling club and a student-led trip to Beavermead Park.

Westmount Public School is also participating in the WOW retrofit program. Leadership students at Westmount PS have Depaved an unused courtyard on their school grounds and in its place, students will be installing rain-friendly gardens and their own outdoor classroom.

A third WOW retrofit will be occurring in 2019/2020. Information about how schools can be part of 2019/2020 retrofits will be released in Fall 2019. Please contact WOW Coordinator, Karen O’krafka at karen.okrafka@greenup.on.ca to be added to the mailing list for updates to our final retrofit project.

For more information contact:
Matthew Walmsley | GreenUP Water Education Programs Coordinator
matthew.walmsley@greenup.on.ca | 705-745-3238 ext. 219

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