Students, staff and dignitaries gathered yesterday at Kenollie Public School in Mississauga to celebrate the grand opening of the school’s new rain garden. Hosted by Credit Valley Conservation (CVC) and Kenollie Public School, the event hailed environmental learning opportunities for students and the community.
The school’s rain garden is part of an outdoor classroom. Students learn how rain gardens collect rainwater from hard surfaces, including roofs and pavement, and filter out pollutants so cleaner water infiltrates into the ground or flows into waterways. The Kenollie Public School rain garden will clean rainwater before it enters Kenollie Creek, a tributary of the Credit River.
“Kenollie has always been on the cutting edge of improving the community and the environment in which children grow up,” said Jim Tovey, Ward 1 Councillor for Mississauga. “Today we celebrate completion of this project and the tremendous efforts over the last two years. Public education depends on partnerships. This rain garden is a living example.”
Kenollie Public School and CVC are grateful for the generosity of project sponsors. Thanks to Climate Change Adaption Fund (CCAP), RBC Blue Water Project, Port Credit Community Foundation, TD Friends of the Environment, Toyota Evergreen Greening School Grounds, Tree Canada and Northbridge Financial, Kenollie students have the opportunity to grow their understanding of building community resilience – an important part of climate change.
“Our Grade 6 students were interested in building a rain garden because they were concerned about shrinking monarch butterfly populations. Through this vision we’ve developed a unique relationship with CVC resulting in the most beautiful rain garden,” said Jennifer El Refaie, Principal of Kenollie Public School. “The rain garden has created educational opportunities for the students, such as how rain is stored in the ground. They’re learning about plant species, attracting insects, and taking responsibility for caring for the garden.”
The students also put their own artistic flair into the garden. They collected recycled materials and created sculptures of local wildlife. A striking feature is a dragon made out of bottle caps. The students proudly incorporated their school mascot into their garden.
Kenollie Public School is very proud to set an example for others. The garden is a community demonstration site showcasing what people can do to improve water quality and decrease flooding on their properties. Locals are encouraged to stop by the school to see the rain garden and the recycled art project.
Conservation authorities are a provincial/municipal partnership. For more than 60 years, Credit Valley Conservation has worked with its partners to build a thriving environment that protects, connects and sustains us. Credit Valley Conservation gratefully acknowledges financial support from our member municipalities for facilities, programs and services: the Regions of Peel and Halton; the Cities of Mississauga and Brampton; the Towns of Caledon, Erin, Halton Hills, Mono, Oakville and Orangeville; and the Townships of Amaranth and East Garafraxa. CVC is a member of Conservation Ontario.