Food literacy and healthy eating initiatives, as well as education and community connection, are at the heart of the Lake Trail Community School Garden.
In partnership with the Rotary Club of Courtenay, Lake Trail Community Education Society will be able to enhance its community garden programming.
Under normal circumstances, the garden supports the production of local foods for the 368 Lake Trail students who reside in the school’s catchment. Through LTCES, students receive a free, weekly nutritious meal, which promotes garden-to-table literacy. Fresh produce from the garden also supports the school’s foods program.
Rotary funds will provide interpretive signs and an outdoor message centre to communicate with the general public as well as program participants. Rotary funding will also provide an additional composter, pop-up shelters, and table and chairs to offer shelter from sun, wind and rain, and to increase program accessibility once programs are up and running again.
“Interpretive signs will tell the inspiring story of the community garden and communicate the value of compost and support compost use”, said Rotary Club of Courtenay’s president, Lynn Gray.
“The new outdoor kiosk and message centre will allow us to effectively communicate with the neighbourhood about our year-round, barrier-free education, recreation and social programs – including our Summer Sprouters early learning drop-in program, community potlucks and celebrations,” said Anna Rambow, Lake Trail Community Middle School co-ordinator. “These supports will be in place when we can welcome the community back to the garden”.
Lesia Wick, chair of the LTCES, notes that “the message centre will engage and involve residents through increased awareness of opportunities to share the harvest offerings and volunteer opportunities – enhancing our community connection.”
Through this enhanced outreach and program support, LTCES will increase its capacity to promote and provide accessible programs, food literacy education and connections for residents and students. Weather permitting, the project will be completed by June 2020.