Growing success at Seaway District High School

Before the school year ended, the Seaway District High School Greenhouse Group donated the $603 they raised through a plant sale to Community Food Share’s team lead Jane Schoones. Pictured (l-r) are participating teachers Emma Mayer and Heather Thompson and students Merab Ali, Makenna Thomas, Ashley Humpartzian, Maleigh Pergunas and Schoones. Elijah Disheau was unavailable for the photo. (The Leader/Comfort photo)

MORRISBURG – Like anything that grows, the more you nurture it the greater the reward.

The Seaway District High School Greenhouse Group, which last year worked to get the greenhouse on the school grounds up and running again after a period of dormancy, started small last year.

They grew some lettuce and donated it to the local Community Food Share.

This year, with the greenhouse ready much sooner in the planting season, they were able to grow a number of seedlings for the community garden at Riverview Presbyterian Church which is a community project of the Iroquois-Matilda Lions Club.

SDHS’s Greenhouse Group sent over 200 plants to the Lions community garden project.

That partnership and those efforts mean that the Community Garden, which also donates its produce to Community Food Share is thriving.

It also facilitated the Lions initiative to start a gardening project with the J.W. MacIntosh Seniors Support Centre in Williamsburg.

Until the school year ended, the gardens inside the school greenhouse were also thriving, successfully growing lettuce, radishes and much more, which were regularly donated to the Community Food Share in Morrisburg.

Along with the seedlings, the Greenhouse Group and a school math class planted marigolds for a community beautification project which it participated in as part of an ongoing Iroquois and District Business Group Beautification initiative. Their planting was so successful that they were able to host a plant sale and sell those marigolds and other seedlings to raise $603, which they recently donated to Community Food Share.

Asked why they wanted to be part of the Greenhouse Group and undertake all of the extra projects, the participating students said that initially they got involved because they wanted to see an under-utilized space used again and of course, they are proud to be able to help the community .

They have learned a lot through the various community partnerships that have grown from their efforts, explained teacher Heather Thompson. They learned about what the food bank clients like to receive most and they did a presentation to the local Lions Club.

The students like how their efforts fit with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, especially Zero Hunger.

While the Greenhouse Group does not continue through the summer the group is already looking forward to broadening its reach next year.

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