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Friday, June 7, 2019  | 10 a.m. | Windsor-Essex County

With the start of the gardening season, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit in partnership with the Windsor-Essex Community Garden Network, celebrates three local schools for being the successful applicants for the “Healthy Schools Garden Grant”. 

École Sainte-Ursule, École Saint-Antoine, and École Secondaire Catholique L’Essor have received $1,000 grants to help them start and/or expand a school garden. 

“As a Registered Dietitian, I am approached by parents with concerns about ‘picky eating’. Gardening can be a fun and engaging way to get children interested in trying new vegetables and fruit” says Mariel Munoz, Public Health Nutritionist with the Healthy Schools Department. 

School gardens have the potential to improve students’ nutrition, mental health, physical activity levels, and academic performance. In addition, gardens are a perfect setting for students to explore science and technology, including learning about ecosystems, soil chemistry, habitats, and different organisms. Teachers can also use school gardens to teach math and the social sciences; with school gardens, the possibilities are endless! 

The gardens are being designed in different ways at each school – each reflecting the unique characteristics of the school: One school is using it for an International Baccalaureate leadership program, whereas for another one it is a natural progression from their composting and recycling program. “There has been noticeable interest in the school as we get started. The curiosity of students from all grades is getting sparked as they learn to plan, build and plant raised garden beds.  We are very thankful to the Health Unit and its partners for helping us to grow this initiative in our school yard and in the hearts of our students” states Melissa Pinsonneault, a teacher at École Saint-Antoine. 

"Gardens are often themselves a seed: Properly cultivated with time and attention they blossom, through those tending them, into character, knowledge, skills and connected communities whose positive effects are simply immeasurable. I cannot imagine a more worthwhile thing to give our children” reflects Robert Ross, an avid gardener from the Windsor-Essex Community Garden Network

This project is supported in partnership with the Windsor-Essex Community Garden Network – a free association that provides support to members and the general public regarding starting and maintaining community gardens, and sharing garden resources and information.

Media Contact:
Communications Department
Windsor-Essex County Health Unit
519-258-2146 ext. 6397 (NEWS)

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