April 19th, 2016
Tim Walker Awards Presented by Student Trustees
Four schools received funding to support their environmental projects. The funding was provided as part of the Tim Walker Memorial Awards for Environmental Stewardship, established by the board to honour the life of secondary school teacher Tim Walker, and his commitment to education and environmental initiatives.
An adjudication committee reviews the applications, and makes a decision based on the following criteria:
- Staff and student involvement, and environmental stewardship
- Impact on student learning / fostering learning and engaging students
- Environmental benefits – shading, greening, waste reduction, and recycling
The annual award is $2000, which is equally distributed among four schools. This year’s recipients are Lincoln Heights Public School, Sandhills Public School, Bluevale Collegiate Institute, and Preston High School.
Lincoln Heights Public School
Project Title: Outdoor Classroom
Staff and students at Lincoln Heights PS are working to improve the learning spaces both in and outside the school. There is a green space outside the resource room and Grade 3 classroom that is currently unused as it is run down. Their goal is to make this space greener by building a butterfly garden with native plant species to encourage a natural ecosystem. Another goal is to establish a ‘garden club’ for students so that they can help plan, prepare and build the project. This group will help to maintain the garden and develop awareness and understanding around biodiversity, pollinators and native species.
Sandhills Public School
Project Title: Kindergarten Multi-Sensory Gardens
Kindergarten students at Sandhills PS have been collecting seeds from their lunches and need an outdoor garden to transplant the seeds they have started in their classroom windows. Along with the seeds from their lunches, they will be planting various types of herbs to help them explore the plants different textures, smells, tastes and shapes. This project will teach children about growing and harvesting food. It will help students to understand where food comes from, the process of growing food from seeds, as well as exploring the garden from a sensory perspective.
Preston High School
Project Title: Tree Planting Initiative
This project will provide students with an opportunity for students to create a lasting impression at PHS by planting trees at the school in areas where there are currently no trees. The purpose of this project is to provide sun and wind breaks for students and athletes. This area will also create nesting and roost habitats for birds, bats and monarch butterflies. Once the trees are established, the school plans to allow the grassed areas around the trees to grow uninhibited so milkweed and other native grasses and plant species can flourish and provide a food source for the diminishing monarch butterfly population.
Bluevale Collegiate Institute
Project Title: Gardening on the EDGE
Bluevale’s EDGE Club (Environmental Duty for a Greener Earth) will purchase a full class set of hand gardening tools to support the gardening efforts at the school. Students and staff at Bluevale have worked to develop the green spaces on school grounds. They work from spring to fall to maintain the flower gardens out front, the pollinator garden in the back, and the vegetable garden at the side of the school. Several groups at the school work together to maintain these spaces. At present, there are not enough tools for everyone involved to participate in maintaining the garden. Being able to have enough tools for everyone involved will allow teachers to have students involved in an activity together and be engaged in the work, without having people to have to wait for a turn.
About the Waterloo Region District School Board
The Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) has approximately 40,000 elementary students and 20,000 secondary students in 116 school locations in the Region of Waterloo. From Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12, our schools provide instruction designed to develop in our students the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to provide a solid foundation for living and learning. Our students regularly achieve a wide variety of honours in academics, fine arts and athletics. Our graduates have great success as they pursue further education and rewarding careers.