The Grand Opening

June 15th was an exciting day for the new school garden!  We had the official opening ceremony.  The weather was beautiful, there was a great turnout, and the whole thing could not have gone better.  A really inspiring event.

Since the winter, we’d discussed when would be the best time to have this ceremony – the first digging? the first planting?… But for a number of reasons (mostly timing), we ended up having the ceremony this week.  And it turned out to be the perfect time to have it.  First of all, the weather was amazing – sunny, warm but not too hot…  Also, it was nice to be able to show the garden to the community once it already has lots of things growing.  It was really great to see lots of parents and other community members at the event.  There were also some local community newspapers were there, along with some folks from Slow Food Toronto who funded the project, representatives from the local community health centre, the local MPP and school trustee.  The whole school came out for the 20 minute ceremony.  There were a few quick mini-speeches from the community health centre (who have been coordinating the project), the school principal, the parents who are involved, a teacher, myself and some garden club members, and the MPP.  We then had a ribbon cutting – teachers had chosen one Kindergarten and one Grade 6 student, which I thought was a nice symbol of the whole school being involved.  The ribbon cutters were both super excited and proud.  Then the choir sang a song, which was super cute.  It was so nice to have so many people there who are really excited about the project.  We asked the kids to raise their hands if they had planted a seed for the garden in their class, if they had planted a plant in the garden, and if they were excited to try some of the food from the garden later in the year, and their enthusiasm was amazing!  We also bugged the MPP a bit about how he should try to get the Ontario government to make permanent positions for garden educators at public schools.  He seemed keen on the idea – we’ll have to keep bugging him about that one!

As part of the ceremony, we also revealed the new artwork that had been painted by a number of the kids at the fun fair a few weeks earlier, and put together by a local artist with the help of some teachers and other garden committee members.  The artwork is a series of circles painted by the kids, and attached to the fence in the shape of a worm/caterpillar.  It looks great!  Check out these pictures:

Happy growing!

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