Community school garden provides programming, connections

Lake Trail Community Education Society (LTCES), formerly known as Lake Trail Neighbourhood Connections, invites the public to discover the Lake Trail Community School Garden this summer through drop-in programs, workshops and learning opportunities, and through Lammas, its annual summer harvest feast.

Building a healthy community is at the heart of LTCES’s work. The Summer Sprouters program is geared towards families and caregivers with children six months to five years. Drop by the garden to play, create and learn on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. City of Courtenay Recreation is on-site facilitating games and activities each Friday, and LTCES is thrilled to welcome special guests throughout the coming weeks from Hand-In-Hand Early Years Nature Education Program, TreeFrog Music, and Home Grown Bee.

A new partnership is also blooming with Courtenay Recreation’s Adapted Programs. Adults with disabilities are invited to explore the garden and participate in a hands-on activity on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Registration takes place through City of Courtenay Recreation.

The garden provides a space of learning for students and the community while producing significant amounts of food for school and community use. Those interested in learning the basics of organic permaculture and growing their own food are welcome to join volunteer sessions with garden co-ordinator, Elaine Codling, a permaculture design consultant and teacher with more than 30 years of experience. Work sessions take place on Sundays from noon to 4 p.m., and Tuesdays from 3-7 p.m. Tuesday sessions wrap up with a fresh salad.

Celebrate the bounty of the garden, and connect through food, music and craft at the annual Lammas First Feast Community Supper. Lammas day is traditionally the celebration of the first wheat harvest in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and the first harvest festival of the season. All are welcome to attend Lammas on Wednesday, Aug. 7 at 5 p.m. Bring a dish to share, a chair or blanket, utensils and dishes to 805 Willemar Ave.

Most summer programs are free or by donation with proceeds to LTCES.

FMI: join the Lake Trail Community Education Society Facebook page or visit

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