a The Learning Garden: Reflections

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Student reflections on the Learning Garden and Pond:

When thinking about the garden, for me anyway, I would have to say that if you would have asked me 4 months ago if I would enjoy gardening or would want a garden to be part of my education I would have blankly stated: "not a chance." But...then I spent the day in the garden and it "grew" on me. That day in the garden changed a lot of thoughts in my mind and I now feel that that initial negative energy I had towards it has become positive, and for that I'm grateful. Change is always good for a person and its even better when you can enjoy it as it happens and that is what the garden allowed me to experience.

For me this experience has been about collaboration. As aspiring teachers, collaboration is such a huge part of the profession and such an important theme to model for students. In the garden, we are not only collaborating with each other within our garden box groups and as a class, but we are collaborating with the nature around us. We are also collaborating with the past students who have left their small marks within the garden, just as we will leave our marks for future students. I like the fact that we have an opportunity to create something real and natural and that will hopefully be passed on to future classes.


I feel The Learning Garden as well as the pond holds as much value and importance as a Provincial park. The purpose of a provincial park is to express and maintain cultural, ecological values as well as B.C’s heritage. It is a place for people to visit, enjoy and learn. The Learning Garden is all those things and more. The space where the garden happens to be holds a legacy for past and future Middle School cohorts. It also holds within its soil the history of much hard work, love and dedication of keeping the space alive. Visitors learn not only about different flowers and plants as well as how to garden, but they also learn about themselves in the process. The garden makes you think and see how life changes. The animals and humans need the Learning Garden and pond. It is and will continue to be an important part of UBC-O’s future.

.....For me "sustainability" is maintaining something for the long haul. What that means is that for example, we have a limited supply of resources, and instead of wasting it all at once or very quickly we limited, ration, and developing other ways of using these limited resources so that they last a long time. Overall, "sustainability" is a difficult term to define because it is a loaded word that has multiple meanings to various people....and because of this it makes it a very hard thing to maintain.

What the learning garden means to me is a place where I can learn about nature in a quiet soothing atmosphere. It allows me to relax and enjoy a little piece of the world that we havent destroyed with construction and noise. The learning garden is also an experience for me and my peers that has been passed down throughout the years, and that makes it unique and traditional. It connects me to those who went through the years before us, and those that will be coming. The learning garden taught me aspects of teamwork, and how to bring nature in to the classroom.

In this age we live in, too often progress is defined by demolishing something we already naturally have to make space for a "creation" that feeds our ego. The Learning Garden and the Pond need to be protected like the treasure it is. These resources contribute to the community by providing individuals a connection to nature that cannot be replaced by a textbook. Joni Mitchell said it in song so many years ago, "why does it always seem to go, that we don't know what we've got till it's gone...."


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