Fleming Public School Wildflower
Garden one year after planting.
FRW assists a few schools each year with habitat regeneration projects within their school grounds. Priority is given to schools within the Rouge River Watershed and adjacent watersheds.
FRW has assisted many schools with habitat regeneration, including:
FRW schoolyard habitat regeneration projects involve the creation of:
- treed windbreaks to reduce wind chill affects on students and school heating costs;
- wildflower and shrub gardens to provide beauty and attract interesting birds and butterflies;
- ponds and wetlands to provide habitat for fish, amphibians and aquatic plants and species.
A number of FRW planting partnerships with schools have won awards, including:
- Hillside Outdoor Education School
- Canadian Wildlife Federation Award 2001 and 2003;
- Bruce Daley TDSB 2002 and Rouge Park Award 2003
- Fleming Public School
- Bruce Daley TDSB Award 2001 and Rouge Park Award 2002
- Charles Gordon Public School
By involving a large proportion of the students in the plantings, FRW encourages the creation of a sense of ownership and pride that avoids vandalism and encourages maintenance.
Habitat regeneration projects provide students with practical ways to apply science, mathematics, geography and other areas of knowledge.
For many students, hands-on work helps to make classroom learning relevant and it improves the level of interest, confidence and scholastic achievement of some students.
- School yard habitat regeneration touches on many curriculum areas, including:
- Ecozones, climate zones and micro-climates;
- Ecology, interactions between organisms and their environment;
- Soil texture, drainage, nutrients, micro-organisms and openness to air, water and roots;
- Intensity of sunlight, shade tolerance, photosynthesis and respiration;
- Competition and natural succession;
- Weed control, watering, maintenance and competition for rooting and growing space and nutrients;
- Systematic use of visual clues and keys to facilitate species identification.