Teaching sustainability one seed at a time
In February 2020, thanks to the partnership with Pembina Pipeline Corporation (“Pembina”), new breakfast programs were implemented at Prince Rupert Middle School, Charles Hays Secondary School, and Roosevelt Park Elementary School.
Today, these programs feed 225 children and youth every morning and establish strong ties within the community with the objective of continuing to help students reach their full potential.
Creating a community garden
This past year, the City of Prince Rupert decided to amplify their efforts toward building a sense of community by creating a sustainable initiative for the school. The idea of a school garden was born. One of the active participants behind the project is Erika Boker, a grade 2 teacher at Roosevelt Park School with a passion for gardening. She explains, “every class is involved in different steps of this initiative which usually starts around Earth Day in late April. Tasks such as, mixing soil and planting seeds are split up. Once that is done the students do a series of observations around growth and sprouting. Boker stated, “what started with flower beds now produces a variety of fruits and vegetables such as beets, carrots, radishes, lettuce, Swiss chard, beans, peas, blueberry, strawberry, and garlic using the permaculture system.”
During the summer holidays, families volunteer to look after the garden to ensure everything continues to grow until September when students return to school. Boker adds that, “whatever is ready to be harvested while families are taking care of the garden is theirs to take home.”
Pembina has been a partner with the Breakfast Club of Canada (“BCC”) since 2016 in collaboration with Pembina’s signature giving and volunteering program, Fuel 4 Thought, which provides funding for breakfast programs in schools.
Jaret Sprott, Pembina’s Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, is the Executive Sponsor of Fuel 4 Thought and a volunteer with the program. “It goes beyond making sure that kids get enough to eat”, he explains, “through our partnership with Breakfast Club of Canada, we’re also able to move the needle on a major social issue that impacts everything from education to wellness, and I’m very proud that Pembina continues to step up to the plate and deliver on our commitment to communities.”
Craig Hilton, Manager of the Prince Rupert Terminal states, “although we are a newer member to the Prince Rupert community, Pembina is committed to exploring how we can work together with the city and surrounding communities on sustainability, health, education, training and employment opportunities”. Pembina’s support provides a future full of opportunities for the Ecole Roosevelt Community School, which is currently in the process of establishing a more permanent community garden structure. The school plans to show students how to grow food and give everyone a chance to participate in the program.
Through their community investment program, Pembina participates in local, provincial, and national non-profit and charitable organizations in support of safe, inclusive, and connected communities that foster a strong sense of belonging.