Wednesday, 13 November 2013

It's not too cold to plant!

Good afternoon!

We've made some great progress on the outdoor classroom. The whole space across the front of the school has been cleared of plants, weeds and debris and we've saved the perennials to be reused in the new classroom space.  I've had lots of feedback about how great the school looks already, but just wait until they see what's up next!  

Thursday, Nov. 14:  9am-noon
Saturday, Nov. 16: 10am-2pm-ish

This coming Thursday morning we will be removing sod to create the permanent shape of the new classroom. Then we'll rototill the soil. 

On Saturday we'll be planting the entire space. 

Please let me know when you're available to help. 


Sunday, 20 October 2013

Cancelled due to weather

Good morning!

Our first effort in the outdoor classroom has been cancelled this morning due to wet and rainy weather.  We will reschedule in the near future, dates will be posted here or you can sign up for emails to get the news delivered right to your inbox. 

See you soon!

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Ready, set, go!

Karl Klinck of Orchard Farm Nursery, the designer of this project, will be removing the existing cedars this week and we're wondering if any of you good people have (or know someone who has) a pickup truck and/ or trailer.  We are looking for someone to load up all the debris and take it to the dump.  We are also looking for a few people to help dig out the cedar stumps. 

Karl will be working there this Saturday, October 19th.  If you are available to help for an hour or two, or if you have a truck, please email me at

Future work days for removing plants, planting new ones, shaping the new space and adding mulch are planned for:
Saturday, November 2
Saturday, November 9

If you are available for either if these days, please let me know. 

This project wouldn't be possible without the good intentions of parents like you, thank you in advance for your help!

Sunday, 6 October 2013

It all started…

...with the merging of two ideas.  A teacher requested an outdoor classroom in the same week that a parent inquired about freshening up the landscaping in the front of the school.  Our vice-principal, Andrea Fischer proposed that we work together to create an outdoor classroom at Bellewood.  Karl Klinck of Orchard Farm Nursery, who is also a parent at our school, agreed to donate the design of the classroom.  We met with students and teachers to find out what they would like to have in an outdoor classroom.  We toured the outdoor classrooms of other local schools.  We focused on making the design both eco-friendly and low maintenance, with a locally-sourced bent.  We wanted to create something we could be proud of, something beautiful that would be used for years to come, but not something that would require a full time gardener to maintain.  There were some great ideas and we ended up with a fantastic wish list!  Karl incorporated the wish list into his design, and the gecdsb “eco schools: school ground greening process” was completed and approved.  Phew!

Our design is beautiful!  And big!  To keep it manageable, we’ve divided the overall plan into three phases.  The timeline will depend on the amount of help and money we have to work with.  Today, we’re ready to start Phase 1.

Phase 1
Highlighted above shows the area that we will complete first.  For a detailed description of the entire space, click on the link below.  We’ll be reshaping the current landscaping across the front of the school, and creating a new space for our outdoor seating, chalkboard and eco signpost.  New plants will be added, as well as defining the areas for the seasonal gardens, which are small open garden areas that classes may “adopt” for creative scientific or aesthetic experimentation.  Two posts will be cemented into the ground to support our outdoor chalkboard (which we’ll make using cement board and paint).  A third post will be added near the corner of the school to make the eco signpost.  Once we’ve finished reshaping the landscaping and adding plants, we’ll add a thick layer of mulch, and large quarry rocks for seating.  

To make a donation, or to help create this space, please contact us using the link below.