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Area school kids keeping playground green

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Students at Polson School helped make their school yard a greener place last week.


The school has spent the last two years raising $60,000 through a combination of fundraisers and grants for a greening initiative.


Last week students were out planting, watering, and learning more about the environment.


Phase one of the greening initiative includes native trees and shrubs, a natural walkway, outdoor classroom, community garden boxes, birdhouses, butterfly houses, and bat houses.


Grant contributions were made to the school by The Winnipeg Foundation, Neighbourhoods Alive!, Community Places Program, and the Manitoba Community Services Council Inc., and two by Toyota Evergreen. One of the Evergreen grants was made anonymously in the memory of Peter D. Curry.


The work day funder last week was the Healthy Schools Environmental Health campaign, which is funded by the Manitoba government. The program provided the school with $154 that was used to buy snacks for students and purchase a garden hose.


The Elmwood Community Garden Committee provided watering cans for the day.


There is also an area for the kindergarten class to sit outside by what they call the Kindergarten Tree, where students can learn about the tree and environment throughout the school year.


Rachel Galindo, a community connector with the River East Transcona School Division who has assisted the school with the project, said it’s never too early to learn about the environment.


"You’re never too young to learn about these things. The earlier they start the better appreciation they will have down the road," Galindo said.


Grade 6 student Braden Tymchuk, who is in his second year as a member of the school’s Green Club, said he loves being outdoors and helping the environment.


"It’s a good chance to be outside. Sometimes my friends and I will pick up garbage and take it inside," Tymchuk said.


Fellow Grade 6 student and club member Jordan Pilgrim said it’s all about making a difference in the environment.


"It’s important so we have a planet for people later on," he said.


Principal Ian Grant said the project will benefit not only the school, but the community as a whole.


"Seniors across the street will benefit from the community garden. It’s not all about the school," Grant said.


"Next spring each class will have a garden box and see how something is grown from beginning to end. They’ll learn it  just doesn’t come from the grocery store, somebody grows it."


Mason Pearson, a Green Club member for a year and a half, said the club has given him a better opportunity to take care of the environment.


"I never really had a recycling bin at my house and I figured I could help the environment," the Grade 6 student said.


Phase two of the project will include planting vegetables that will be donated to Winnipeg Harvest and building a shade cover for the playground.


Anyone interested in donating to the school’s efforts can call the school at 204-669-4490.

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adrian.alleyne@canstarnews.com

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