Connect with Nature
School food gardens help us to deepen our appreciation and understanding of our physical, emotional, and spiritual connections with nature. School food gardens promote cooperative learning and stimulate students’ curiosity about the natural world, helping them to become stewards for whole and healthy ecosystems and the people that live in them. Additionally, participation in outdoor and garden activities have been shown to contribute to cognitive development, psychological growth and social skill learning, positively affecting physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.
Healthy food comes from healthy environments. SFGs use practices that enhance ecological health and illustrate our interdependence and the interconnections with the natural environment.
• Nurture the diversity of organisms that live in and support the garden.
• Conserve resources by using water wisely and composting garden waste.
• Consider seasonality and climate zone in plant choice.
• Work to improve soil health.
• Choose non-toxic building and gardening materials and pest management options.
• Offer opportunities to explore traditional Mi’kmaq knowledge about these lands and waters.
• Relate to personal health and wellbeing and spirituality.
• Tap into the creative and the sacred through nature.
Exploring Ecosystems: Foster care and understanding of garden ecology.Have students explore, describe and report on biotic factors and conditions for growth. Gardens provide an opportunity to study structures and interactions in a natural system.
Nurturing Exploration in Nature: Many poets and writers draw inspiration from nature, as can students. Provide opportunities for reading and creative writing in the garden, or bring the garden to the classroom! Through classic and contemporary literature, students can explore themes of the natural world and be encouraged to reflect, meditate and nurture their own spirituality and creative potential.
Story from the Field: Connect with Community
The vegetable beds at our school are a great addition to the natural playground. The students get to see the connections between the growing, harvesting, and eating firsthand. It becomes part of their daily experience-right at our backdoor! The students’ hands-on contributions inspire their ownership of the project. The connection between the community kitchen at our school and the garden creates a positive synergy that is rooted in stewardship-taking care of ourselves, taking care of others and taking care of the world.- Principal
Resources for Connect with Nature