Welcome to/welcome back to Nature’s Place, the school garden/outdoor classroom located in the front of the school. In 2004, staff at West Dalhousie School had a vision: an outdoor classroom/garden for the students. The staff brought the idea to School Council who supported the idea. Olds College was brought in to make several different plans, incorporating ideas from students. Funding was secured and construction of Nature’s Place started in 2006.
Nature’s Place has four areas, each representing the different natural regions surrounding Calgary:
Each area is made up of native plants. An amphitheater is located in the Rocky Outcroppings section, and a dry creek bed runs through the Foothills
From time to time students, teachers and parent volunteers help with weeding and mulch/compost dispersal. The compost is provided by organic waste from the students’ lunches, collected by a group of 3/4 students called the Green Team. Parent volunteers also help with weeding during the summer months.
A Special Thank You!
Over the summer several West Dalhousie School families helped weed and maintain Nature’s Place. As with any garden, Nature’s Place requires regular upkeep to help keep the weeds at bay (although they do appear to win the battle on occasion – I’m looking at you, cicer milk vetch). A big thank you and warm thoughts go to the following: Gallaher family, Oyedele family, Huang family, Morrow family, Ahmed family, Bellakhdar family, Fujii family, Houghton family, Yu Family
Wondering what’s up with the circular garden made up of rock walls in front of the school? That’s Nature’s Place’s modified keyhole garden. This spring our kindergarten students planted sunflower seeds in this garden. Unfortunately the keyhole garden is currently in need of repair and we remind students to stay away for the time being.
Nature’s Place Meetings
Want to learn more about Nature’s Place? The Nature’s Place Subcommittee is made up of school staff and parents who meet approximately 4 to 5 times a year to discuss the use and upkeep of Nature’s Place. All meetings are held immediately before Parent Council meetings and free babysitting is provided. Parents are always welcome to attend. Our next meeting is Thursday, October 13 at 6:30pm in the school staff room. The meetings are fun and informative. Currently membership is low and we are always looking for interested parties to join us. No weeding takes place at the meetings!