Vanier Public School Hosts Ceremonial Planting
for Exclusive 150th Celebration Garden
Kick-Off to Canada 150 Celebrations at the School
(Brockville) – Vanier Public School celebrated Canada’s 150th in style Friday afternoon, as the school hosted an indoor “planting” to mark winning an exclusive 150th Celebration Garden.
In an afternoon ceremony moved indoors due to rain, students planted eight tulip bulbs in a plastic flower box, one for each class at the school. The ceremony, held in the school gym, was attended by local dignitaries such as Leeds-Grenville MPP Steve Clark and Brockville Police Chief Scott Fraser. At the end of the ceremony, the entire school population posed for a group photo waving hand-held Canadian flags.
The school is one of only 150 locations across Canada to be awarded one of the tulip gardens. Comprised of 1,500 red and white tulip bulbs, the gardens are being planted to mark Canada’s Sesquicentennial next year, said Jennifer Wright, a teacher at Vanier who helped organize the event. Won in a contest run by Canada’s Garden Route, the bulbs will be planted in the pattern of a Canadian flag in a newly created flower bed on school grounds. Apart from using it to mark Canada’s 150thbirthday next year, the garden will serve as the focal point for a variety of lessons in life sciences, English, mathematics and even history.
Most importantly, the garden will help students remember Canada’s Sesquicentennial in much the same way their parents and grandparents recall the 1967 Centennial.
“A lot of what we’re trying to do here is build lasting memories for students,” said Wright, an avid gardener who applied to the contest on the school’s behalf. “And the best way to build memories is to provide students with an experience that is sensory and visual that ensures they will remember it.”
Students are conducting interviews with relatives who remember the Centennial and are writing about their experiences. Grades 5 and 6 students are involved in a mathematics exercise, plotting how the bulbs must be planted so they can grow into the Canadian flag pattern next spring. The exercise is helping students develop measurement, addition, graphing and organizational skills. Teacher Peter Gilder has also designed a template, including a large paper Maple Leaf, that will be placed in the garden to guide the planting.
When the tulips come out in the flag pattern next May, the school will host a giant block party, inviting neighbours, local dignitaries, and neighbouring schools to celebrate Canada’s Sesquicentennial.
The school would like to thank the Rotary Club of Brockville, the Rotary Club of the 1000 Islands, Home Depot, the Brockville Horticultural Society, and Green Things Landscaping 2010 for their support of the 150th Celebration Garden project.