Happy Earth Day!
Sophie and her friend Logan nestle up to a tree being planted on the Tecumseh school grounds today0
And what a packed day it was... I spent the majority of it at Tecumseh Public School, where the entire student body was involved in the digging and planting of a new outdoor reading garden. Our school has a fantastic, shady and very well planned front garden, but the back school yard is much more "traditional" - open grassy spaces, playground equipment, and a couple of small trees. When the school applied for (and received) a Metro Green Apple grant, planning for a new shady green space in the rear yard were hatched - today was the day all the planning came to fruition. With the amazing help and support of ReForest London, 5 seating logs were installed, three mature trees were planted along with several new shrubs and bushes, and about a tonne of mulch was laid out. To make things more interesting, Premier Dalton McGuinty chose to visit the school today, so the halls and the yard were awash with media types and political handlers... if elementary school isn't already zoo-like enough, the camera crews and suits certainly pushed it over the edge. If you've been keeping up with the news you'll know that two recent government announcements have various groups up-in-arms... the proposed elimination of rebates for pharmacists from generic drug manufacturers, and the revised sex education curriculum. The Premier had planned to take part in some of the tree planting with the students this afternoon, but those opposed to the recent announcements made their presence known all along our school's fence line - I spent part of my time trying to keep the kids focussed on the job at hand while "coincidentally" standing in the sight-line between protesters and the students... it's not easy to stop kids from gawking at the signs and placards. As mentioned in this news article, Mr. McGuinty decided that a visit with Tecumseh's students would be best done inside the school instead of outside with a backdrop of protesters, so he and a class of students chatted around a recycling display in one of the classrooms instead. It may not have give the amazing outdoor project that was completed today it's moment in the spotlight, but the kids were pretty impressed with all the media attention and seemed to enjoy their chat with the Premier. As for me, I enjoyed about a million picture-taking opportunities, which I plan to use liberally (ooh, did I just make a political joke there?) in the next issue of the school newsletter.