Parkway Elementary is embracing a progressive project of outdoor learning by creating a food forest in their schoolyard.
Jandi Doyle, was developing an outdoor learning environment when a colleague brought it to her attention that there was a Farm to School grant which led to an introduction to Ryan Foster. He founded an organization called Food Foresters of Canada Society.
“The idea of a food forest was so much more intriguing to me than a garden,” said Doyle. “Other teachers became excited for the interactive and hands-on learning it would provide for our students, and then community support from business and so many others came on board. We are hoping to show that we can do something viable with a small piece of land that enriches schools, the students, community, and will eventually save the school district money in maintenance.”
Foster said food forests are almost self-regulating and self-perpetuating. He reached out to Richard Walker of Incredible Edible to work on this as well. Walker is a fellow Food Foresters Society director and local author, who is helping with the design.
Walker is launching his new book, Food Forestry North of the 49th, at Parkway on March 12 from 1 to 4 p.m. There will be snacks and drinks provided by The Wild Scallion, and tickets are by donation at the door.
Walker will outline the benefits and practical aspects of Food Forestry in his keynote speech. Following, will be an optional tour of FFSC’s local project, the Kinney Community Food Forest across the street from the school. All the community is welcome.
Ryan Foster encourages community members to join the Food Foresters of Canada – Penticton Chapter, as a way to volunteer, be part of creating resiliency in Penticton, and even learn how to grow Food Forests.
Ground-breaking for the Parkway project should commence in April. Individuals or groups that would like to volunteer for the Parkway or other FFSC local projects can contact Ryan Foster through Foodforesters.ca, or inquire at Parkway Elementary.