LBPSB Grabs 4 Green Grants

by Julie Liebman

A big green congratulations is in order!
4 LBPSB schools received a $5000 Green Grant from the Ministère de l’Éducation for a special project entitled ‘Projets jeunesse en changements climatiques’ for the 2021-2022 school year.

LBPSB received more grants than any other school board in the province and the recipients were selected by a committee composed of representatives from 3 different ministries.
The funds will be used to develop creative green projects in four high-schools.
• Beurling Academy will develop a community garden and urban greenhouse
• Macdonald High School will create a pollinating sanctuary
• John Rennie High School will develop gardening skills to grow more local produce
• Pierrefonds Community High School Going Green at PCHS

Melissa Ralph is a science and math teacher at Macdonald High. She is also the project lead for that site and has been working with grade 9 students. “We’ve had flower beds around the school in the past, but this grant will allow us to create a fenced-in space for pollination, away from dust and construction, that is protected and only accessible by lock and key. It will be a beautiful place to relax and for our social workers and guidance counselors to use.”

Jean-François Pépin, a French, history, and geography teacher at John-Rennie says he will use the grant to develop students’ gardening skills. “Our objective is to try to grow as much as we can locally: herbs, fruits, vegetables, and more! To date, we’ve planted 1000 basil plants and made pesto. We’ve partnered with the West-Island Mission and donated some to the organization.” He says the students find it extremely gratifying to lead a project from conception all the way to the end result. Knowing that their hard work is appreciated by the community organization is very rewarding.

At Beurling Academy, Fontini Papchronis and Craig Acrobati, both science teachers, will create an urban greenhouse for everyone to enjoy.
“Beurling is a Project Based Learning (PBL) school, so our grade 10 students will build an urban green house for future cohorts to use and maintain. We will look at the life cycle of plants, how they can survive the winter, and touch on nutrition and gardening. Our green house will be used years to come, and it will be tied-in with extra-curricular activities,” they both explain enthusiastically. “It’s like a gift that keeps on giving!”

Congrats to the winning schools! We look forward to following progress as the projects become a reality over the next months.