About Our Project
We strive to provide each and every school in the Waterloo Region with a school food garden. Our dream is to inspire other regions and other schools throughout Ontario, Canada, and the world to do the same.
Each time a student has the opportunity to play and work in a garden, they learn new skills through discovery-based learning. A garden opens so many doors for curiosity, exploration, and community-building. When an educator has the opportunity to spend time in an outdoor classroom, we allow for creative education and provide students with real-world experience in nature.
When students are allowed the opportunity to grow their own food, they gain an appreciation for health and nutrition, and increase their intake of healthy fruits and vegetables. We nurture healthy lifestyles, and build healthy communities. We create communities rooted in collaboration, participation, and education. This is truly a community project, where many hands (large or small) make light work.
- St. Bernadette students tending to their gardens
2019 and into the future – Growing up, and up, and up!
With the success of obtaining the Ontario Trillium Foundation grant, we can grow our project to new heights! This spring we finished a total of 13 gardens – propelling us forward towards our grand total of 40 gardens by 2021. In addition, we aim to continue our annual Teachers Workshop and Conference, and (perhaps our most ambitious and highly-anticipated objective) support a newly developed youth-led farmer’s market.
Follow us on social media for updates, important grant opportunities, and you can always support us here to ensure our project remains sustainable and ever-present in the community. We thank you for all your support and interest in making sure students have access to grow fresh, healthy food.
2018 – Planting and Cultivating: Finding Community Partnerships
The effort put in this year sowed many rewards. We hosted our first annual Teachers Workshop and Conference to promote and support school food gardens. Additionally, we partnered with Your Neighbourhood Credit Union for a garden at Silverheights P.S in Hespeler. In total, we were able to build 5 more gardens with the help of 48 more volunteers.
The goal of this year was to find strong connections in our community. Each build was possible through volunteer construction, student participation, and local business involvement. Our garden frames were constructed by secondary school students, we sourced our supplies from local businesses, and we collaborated with other non-profit organizations. There is always a place for our volunteers and community members to contribute!
2017 – Healthy Communities, Healthy Kids
Thanks to the incredible partnerships between Seeds of Diversity and the Waterloo Region Community Garden Network, we were able to build 7 new school gardens in the Waterloo Region. We are grateful to have received the Healthy Kids Community Challenge (Region of Waterloo) grant to fund this incredible endeavor. Approximately 67 volunteers participated in the builds, which included supporting school staff, parents, students, and members of the community. In addition, our friends at Grand River Food Forestry built a pollinator/edible food fedge on the perimeter of our Empire P.S garden.
This inaugural phase of the WR School Food Gardens project set the stage for what we could accomplish as a community, and we plan to continue to grow, grow, grow!