King George Elementary School
About this project
King George School is a French immersion Kindergarten to Grade 4 elementary school in the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood of Calgary. This school has an active parent council which has been realizing many schoolground improvement projects.
This educational forest garden was designed and built in 2015. We engaged with the students and teachers at the school to design an edible forest garden that also functions as a living classroom. Through an ecosystem game that we designed, students were taught about the elements of an ecosystem, including humans, and how they work together. Then, students brainstormed ideas in their classrooms for the forest garden and those ideas were directly used to inform our design.
In 2015 and 2016 students, teachers, school administration, and parents participated in the some aspects of the installation and planting of the project. This resulted in a connection to the space where students act as stewards of the forest garden while they actively play and enjoy this outdoor education space.
There are over 20 different species of trees and shrubs in the 2,700 square foot food forest, including larch, crabapple, plum, chokecherry, saskatoon, honeyberry, dogwood, wolf willow, pussy willow, currant, and several varieties of sweet and sour cherry. A temporary annual cover crop of buckwheat and hairy vetch was planted in 2015 to build the soil and manage unwanted weeds. In 2016, the herbaceous plant layer was planted with 160 plants of almost 40 different species.