Students work hard to green their schoolyard

The level of motivation is 11/10, even if the mercury is close to 30°C at the Sainte-Edwidge-de-Clifton primary school, near Coaticook. The 80 schoolchildren’s mission is to create a green space to bring a little freshness and beauty to the heart of their asphalt schoolyard. Equipped with work gloves, shells to protect their feet and their best smile, they are busy replacing 135 m² of bitumen with different plant species.

The task is still arduous, but it does not frighten the little workers who, just before starting the work, enthusiastically took part in a little gymnastics session.

Me, I’m not discouragedsays energetically Élodie, who is part of the class which brings together students from the first to the third year. It’s to have shade and to help natureshe adds, visibly convinced of the usefulness of the project which mobilizes her entire school.

His little friend Ludovic willingly takes part in the work. I’ve already picked up a full fieldhe says, as he carries a few pieces of paving stones.

>>>>

Open in full screen mode

Once the asphalt is removed, around thirty plants will be planted in the schoolyard.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Réjean Blais

The project Under the paving stones is an initiative of the Urban Ecology Center led by the Estrie Regional Environmental Council (CRE Estrie). The idea is to reduce heat islands in large asphalt spaces, explains Justine Roy, project officer.

We don’t just come and crash with them. We teach them to take care of the environment, to pay attention to their surroundings.

A quote from Justine Roy, Estrie Regional Environmental Council
>>>>

Open in full screen mode

The green space will bring a little freshness to the schoolyard.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Réjean Blais

It was last February that this great idea of ​​greening the outdoor play space was presented to the students. They made suggestions and even approved the plans.

They are the ones who suggested the plants they want to see grow in their schoolyard. They had a preference for small fruit plants, emphasizes Justine. It’s going to be saskatoon berries and blueberries that hold up well in schoolyards. You have to be careful of trampling, she indicates. Smart all the same, to grow small snacks to enjoy during recess!

>>young people remove rocks.>>

Open in full screen mode

Blueberry and Saskatoon berry plants will be planted in this space.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Réjean Blais

Joëlle Muyldermans, who is a member of the CRE from Estrie, seems delighted with the level of engagement of the children. We have young people who are very enthusiastic. We started with the biggest ones, who wore the biggest pieces. There, we end with the youngest picking up the little ones.

Of course there is still asphalt left. We don’t remove everything. The young people mentioned it: they like it, playing ball and hockey on a harder surface. So for now, we’re compromising.

A quote from Justine Roy, Estrie Regional Environmental Council

One of the group’s teachers, Jessica Favreau, happily participates in the chore. What I really appreciate is that the children were involved in the project from start to finish. This is what creates a feeling of belonging. Today, we are bringing the project to fruition manuallyshe says, throwing pieces of paving stone that her students bring to her in a container.

>>a child with a piece of cobblestone in her hands.>>

Open in full screen mode

Despite the heat, the children appear motivated by the task at hand.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Réjean Blais

The next phases of the project, which require a total investment of $45,000, are also likely to appeal to children. On May 28, around thirty plants will be planted and on May 30, the official inauguration of the courtyard and its new greenery. Regular maintenance of the plants will obviously follow, which will be the responsibility of the children. We’re going to party with the young people. They will be proud to show their project to their parentsindicates Justine Roy.

>>a young man with a bucket full of rocks.>>

Open in full screen mode

The 80 students from the Sainte-Edwidge-de-Clifton school are involved in all phases of the project.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Réjean Blais

In the meantime, there is still a lot of work to do. Théo, with whom I try to chat, obviously wants to continue his work rather than discuss. He greets me kindly and goes back to putting pieces of paving stone in a bucket, already dreaming of his new play space.

-

-

PREV a place that Daniel Ruel did not steal
NEXT Switzerland: The Council of States supports healthcare networks