Eagles By Nature Opening

Eagles By Nature Opening
Posted on 09/27/2018
Eagles By Nature – a place for peace and play
Elginburg & District Public School has one of the most amazing learning labs…a new, naturalized and revitalized school grounds where students can appreciate peace and wellness in nature and play.

To celebrate the new space, a community walk-about will held on Thursday, September 27, 2018 at approximately 1pm. Students and community partners will walk the Eagle’s Eco-Trail, visit the Friendship Garden, Eagle’s Landing and Eagle’s Point as an acknowledgement for the generous contributions made by donors, volunteers, school council and local businesses. 

To better support school greening, and school grounds naturalization projects, the Limestone District School Board entered a partnership with Evergreen, a social enterprise supporting sustainability and environmental stewardship across sectors. 

Evergreen brings their expertise in environmental design, outdoor learning and nature play to Limestone developing guidelines for school grounds projects, and collaborating with interested schools in developing plans for naturalized play areas and school ground greening. Together, Evergreen and educators will extent and enhance the environmental awareness of students and staff who see their school utilizing naturalized spaces on a day-to-day basis. Elginburg & District P.S. is the first school to go through this new collaboration with Evergreen. 

“Elginburg’s naturalization project is a terrific demonstration of the collaborative effort of an engaged student body, staff, and parents willing to make an impact in their community,” states school principal Linda Ford. “Eagles By Nature – a place for peace and play, is a safe environment for students and staff alike to gather in large and small groups with increased opportunities for inquiry and play-based learning.”

Evergreen engaged with students in a series of one-hour participatory design workshops to ensure their voice and vision were reflected in the project. School council and staff also participated in a visioning session. Their feedback was integrated into the final plan developed for the school’s naturalized play area. Nearly all students, when asked to draw a plan of their ideal space, incorporated trees to create shaded seating and play areas, and spots for wildlife nesting and feeders for birds. Students also expressed a desire for quiet and more intimate gathering spaces, ideally within a garden setting. Overall, the participatory design process helped to create an outdoor learning environment for the school, and its community, to take advantage of educational, personal development and community building opportunities. 

“Evergreen is extremely proud of this partnership with LDSB schools,” says Terence Radford, Design Consultant. “Engaging students in creating and sustaining healthy, urban environments in our schools and community spaces has a real and lasting impact, creating a better world for all.”

Elgingburg & District P.S. revitalized school grounds now feature:

A 130 sq. m rain garden seeded with native grasses and wildflowers to enhance naturalized drainage
A large gathering circle with a cedar stage and arbour
A storage container for gardening tools and Kindergarten playground equipment
An intimate gathering space for quiet play 
A mulch play hill
Seven new trees and over 80 shrubs native to the region

A significant grant from the Kingston Solar LP (Samsung) Renewal Energy Project Community Benefit Program Fund allowed the school to revitalize many of the priorities identified for the naturalization of the school grounds. The fund is part of an agreement between the City of Kingston and Kingston Solar LP (Samsung).