Runnymede is lucky to have one of the greenest school yards in the TDSB! The Yard Committee maintains and enhances this amazing school yard – everything from the basketball hoops and play structures to the Hillside Garden, stone amphitheater, peace circle and outdoor art projects. We built and continue to enhance the Kinder-Garden sensory garden, and do important maintenance such as planting, weeding, watering and painting. We also work closely with teachers to share curriculum-based lesson plans that can be implemented in Runnymede’s amazing outdoor classroom.
Key initiatives this year:
– Fall and Spring Green Teacher Program
– Spring Yard Day
– New recess equipment for classes
Do these initiatives interest you? Please consider joining the Yard Committee! Contact: email@example.com
The Green Teacher Program
The Winter Green Teacher program will run during the month of February.
Each year the Parent Council allocates funds to sponsor a visiting “Green Teacher” who provides curriculum-based environmental learning in the Hillside Garden behind our school. Last year, students and teachers enjoyed outdoor education about habitats, biodiversity and more!
Great Fall Eco-Learning Happening Here at Runnymede PS!
Despite the fact that there was no Fall Yard Day community event this year (due to construction and permit issues) the Yard Committee had a very busy fall in the schoolyard.
1) The Green Teacher program allowed classes to enjoy the long, beautiful fall with some outdoor exploration and learning.
- Grade 2 classes studied basic animal needs (water, air, shelter, food) in the Hillside Garden.
- Grade 4 classes created ecologist notebooks and learned about living and non-living parts of an ecosystem and more.
- Grade 6 classes explored the concept of biodiversity in their very own schoolyard and nature garden. They did a “biodiversity blitz” to identify and classify canopy tree species.
The Green Teacher will return for winter sessions in early 2017…
2) The school Green Team and Yard Committee volunteers planted special bulbs to commemorate Canada’s 150th Birthday in 2017. These bulbs were provided to Runnymede via the Eco-School Program and we look forward to seeing them at the front of the school next spring.
3) The Yard Committee organized a Saturday morning of construction work to build some much-needed retaining walls in the Hillside Garden. Thank you to the parent and student volunteers who helped out with this task. We look forward to maintaining the nature garden with the entire Runnymede community at Spring Yard Day 2017!
The Hillside Garden
The Yard Committee, is interested in students and staff getting the most out of the outdoor spaces that are part of our schoolyard. In particular, we rely on fellow parent volunteers to help maintain the Hillside Garden area of the yard.
Runnymede is very fortunate to have the Hillside Garden – a natural forest with trails that is actually part of our schoolyard! The Hillside Garden is the envy of schools across the TDSB but many Runnymede families aren’t aware of its history and origins…
The Yard Committee was actually first established in 1990 when staff and parent volunteers came together to plant and create the forest that is now Runnymede’s Hillside Garden.
The entire forest area used to be a steep, grassy slope that was closed-off to the schoolyard because it was too steep and difficult to maintain.
Over the next decade, native plants, shrubs and trees were planted in the Hillside Garden and it developed into the amazing outdoor learning space that is used and enjoyed today.
The main purpose of our Yard Day events is for the school community (students, parents and staff) to come together to maintain the Hillside Garden so that it remains a healthy and vibrant outdoor learning space for many years to come.
Our Spring & Fall Yard Days are one of the very best community events at Runnymede P.S.!
You don’t have to have a “green thumb” to be a part of the Yard committee – just a willingness to help out around the school yard. You can also support this committee by donating old garden tools or Canadian Tire money at the school office or by attending the Fall and Spring Yard Days – fabulous family-friendly events that combine work and fun.
To join the committee or to volunteer your time, please contact Yard Committee Chair Sarah Frame.