Ocean Grove School’s garden has been embraced by the school and its community wholeheartedly. It will provide a hands-on teaching opportunity for its students. Photo by Alistair Taylor/Campbell River Mirror

At Ocean Grove, it took a community to raise a school garden

School officially opens its garden; thanks community for support

Ocean Grove School celebrated the official opening of its school garden Friday and thanked a whole range of businesses, organizations and individuals who contributed to the overwhelming success of the project.

“It’s often been said…that it takes a whole village to raise a child,” said principal Don Ottosen. “That may be true but, in this case, it has taken an entire school and many community organizations to raise many wonderful garden beds. The groundwork has been done and seeds planted; now our children can tend our garden and enjoy the veggies of their labour.”

The garden is actually well underway with many plants coming up green in the garden beds. In March, the ground was broken on the project to build a 22 ft by 50 ft garden in an area northwest of the school building in plot of land approved by the school district.

RELATED: Campbell River elementary school garden to teach kids where food comes from

School gardens provide an opportunity for children to learn and connect with nature. Gardening and being outdoors has shown to promote positive minds and healthy bodies by learning about healthy foods and being physically active. It allows children to learn valuable gardening and agricultural lessons, and skills that integrate school curriculum such as science, math, art and health. In addition, children learn social skills, teamwork skills, focus, patience and problem solving.

“On behalf of the Ocean Grove School Community Garden Committee, we would like to thank each and every one of you who supported this project,” Ottosen said. “The way the school and district, teachers, staff, parents, families, PAC, volunteers, businesses, companies and the community all came together to build something that will bloom for generations, is truly overwhelming. Our goal is (that) every student and future Ocean Grove student will become gardeners and that all who tend this garden will appreciate the value of this beautiful outdoor space.

“We believe that sustainability is a key to our future health. Our hope is that this garden project will inspire others to create gardens too.”

And it appears it has, there is talk of others schools exploring the concept for their own school community.


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Ladybugs are released onto the garden beds during the official opening of Ocean Grove School’s garden. Ladybugs remove pests. Photo by Alistair Taylor/Campbell River Mirror