NCES presents school greehouse plan

  • Feb. 15, 2011 5:00 p.m.

The North Columbia Environmental Society is looking to build a community garden and greenhouse at the new schools site.

“School gardens really are a wonderful way to connect children to the natural world and for them to truly see the source of where food comes from,” said Rory Luxmoore, a teacher at Revelstoke Secondary School, at a meeting of the school board last Wednesday.

Luxmoore and Hailey Ross, the president of the NCES, were at the meeting to promote their vision of a 3,000 square foot greenhouse and 3,000 square foot garden and outlined four reasons why it would be a good idea:

1. Educational benefits

2. Food security

3. Climate change reasons

4. Community building

Luxmoore, speaking on the first item, said the greenhouse and garden would allow students to connect with nature and it could be used for a variety of courses such as a Chefs in Training program, science classes and even a learning space for other classes.

“Not only academic subjects but leadership, food and nutrition, food prep work experience – the list can go on and on,” he said.

They also pointed out how the space could provide a consistent source of food for the Revelstoke area and serve local businesses and the Food Bank. It could also help the community reach climate change goals by providing a source of local food, thereby reducing transportation costs.

“I see a project like this as invaluable in the way that it can build ridges between schools, between students, between multiple stakeholders like community groups, businesses, educational facilities,” said Ross. “The opportunities are endless.”

Members of the school board were supportive of the idea however they did note space on the site could be an issue.

“The information you’ve given us is good, what you’re trying to achieve is great and what we have to do is see how we can tie this in with the space constrictions that we have,” said school board chair Alan Chell. “It’s a great concept you have and definitely a great benefit to the community and to the schools.”

Currently the NCES is in the early stages of the plan and still needs to put together a detailed plan and secure funding. They pointed to the success of the community greenhouse in Invermere, B.C. and provided a list of supporters, ranging from Wild Flight Farms to local gardeners to Patti Larson, director of the food bank.