Toronto District School Board

Skip to Main
Toronto District School Board

April is Earth Month! Growing Green at Island Public/Natural Science School

 This Earth Month, Island Public/Natural Science School is gearing up for gardening season!

In recent years the school has transformed unused spaces into flourishing gardens, including raised bed gardens, an Indigenous Medicine garden, and vertical garden towers. 

At the Island School there is a strong focus on community, student voice and student engagement. The gardening program is a place where students and staff work together learning to grow fresh food for each other and medicines for the Indigenous Community in Toronto.

Thanks to a TD Friends of the Environment Grant and a generous donation from Ports Toronto, Nieuport Aviation, and Billy Bishop Airport, the school is able to continue to expand their garden projects this season. 

Growing a Food Garden

The school cultivates a sense of community and self-sufficiency through their food garden initiatives. The gardens feature a variety of produce, nurturing sustainable practices and empowering students to make healthy choices.

The garden also features Indigenous medicines, including the 4 sacred medicines - sweet grass, cedar, tobacco and sage. Last year students were able to learn how to harvest Sweet Grass within our Medicine Garden with an Indigenous competency lens. 

The garden is also a true community initiative. Island School students as well as visiting students participating in the overnight outdoor education program participate in the gardening, and during the summer months the gardens are maintained through the generosity of parents and community volunteers.

 This space is not only a school but welcomes learners to visit to deepen and connect student learning to themes of biodiversity, sustainability, well-being in nature, and art in nature,' shared Principal Gary Pieters. 

Sustainability for the Future 

At Island School, sustainability is a way of life. From reducing waste to promoting clean transportation, students and staff are dedicated to building a greener future. As a platinum eco-school, the school is recognized for its commitment to environmental education and action. Initiatives like installing water bottle filling stations and transitioning school buses to electric vehicles showcase their dedication to sustainability.

 Island School staff are currently working with TDSB and their busing provider to transition the school’s entire fleet of buses from diesel to electric starting in September 2024.