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Action Revitalizing School Grounds Urban Farms & Food Gardens

Urban Farms & Food Gardens

Many TDSB schools have food gardens, which not only provide places for students to learn how to grow, harvest and prepare food, but also teach them about food security and nutrition. Many of these gardens are made possible thanks to partnerships with a number of community groups including FoodShare, Green Thumbs Growing Kids and PACT.

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FoodShare is an organization committed to making sure that everyone, especially those most affected by food insecurity, has access to affordable, fresh and healthy food. Their urban schoolyard farming project employs students to grow food on secondary school rooftops and lawns while promoting food literacy. FoodShare initially started working with three TDSB high schools to run school market gardens and has since expanded its reach. Burnhamthorpe CI has an impressive two-acre farm featuring a market garden, orchard, reforestation project, naturalized prairie gardens and a mid-scale community compost site. Eastdale CI has a halfacre rooftop garden that includes an education centre, market garden and event space.


This organization cultivates environmental stewardship through hands-on gardening and curriculum-linked food education for urban children and their communities. Several TDSB elementary schools are involved in Growing Kids, a program that connects children to their food, giving them the tools to grow, harvest and enjoy food right in the school garden.


In 2009, the TDSB formally partnered with PACT (Urban Peace Program) to implement the Grow-to-Learn gardening program in several TDSB schools. This program transforms "unused, often grey spaces into bountiful organic gardens where children and youth learn about harvesting food, sustainability and community building."


The Emerging Green Technologies department at Don Mills CI is a leading organization in the development of practices, connections and possibilities found within an emerging green urban infrastructure. The department is a convergence of related green concepts. Ours is a real world, collaborative approach. Our goal is to create optimal learning conditions and facilities, and thoroughly engage educational collaboration with industry partners and stakeholders. It is a platform for learning design, systems and environmental stewardship. Simply put, our mission is to develop the great city builders of the future.


Reviewing the viability of an urban farm or food garden project is the first step for schools to receive approval, guidance, and support to plan, create, and maintain these outdoor projects. This is facilitated through the Viability Review meeting process.


For more information about urban farms and food gardens contact:


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