Our Commitment to the Environment
Richland students and staff share a commitment to the environment, which is embedded in the culture of the school. As an organization, we are passionate about playing our part in climate action. By raising awareness and making conscious decisions regarding impact, we are a community that appreciates the wonder and beauty of the natural world and strives to sustain the environment.
“The environment should act as an aquarium which reflects the ideas, ethics, attitudes and culture of the people who live in it. This is what we are working towards.”
Loris Malaguzzi, Reggio Emilia
Back in 2012, our Eco Club looked at ways to instill the importance of looking after our environment throughout our school. This led them to the EcoSchools Canada program (Previously Ontario EcoSchools). EcoSchools Canada has an award-winning, curriculum-linked framework that supports school communities as they assess, track, benchmark, and celebrate environmental excellence. We are proud to be part of an organization that grew from a provincial program to a national platform that supports environmental learning and climate action.
Our Eco Club has done an amazing job leading our school to be certified as an Eco School since 2013.
In June 2023, we became the host to thousands of honeybees as part of the great movement for more eco-conscious cities.
Our thousands of new colleagues will pollinate the surrounding urban flora during the summer. At the end of the season, we’ll harvest the honey, which we’ll be able to share with our community.
What about stings?
It really shouldn’t be a worry – bees are not interested in humans. They set out on a daily quest to bring back resources to the colony to ensure its development. Besides, did you know bees die when they sting? They lose their stinger and part of their abdomen, so they have no interest in stinging unless they feel their colony is threatened.
Follow the buzz!
You can keep up to date on how our honey bees are doing by visiting their dedicated blog here.
Actions we have taken
The Eco Club met with our school chef to discuss what plants we could plant to help her produce lunches for the school. The Eco Club conducted some research to understand how to work the Tower Garden. Our indoor gardening vertical hydroponic system is growing 21 plants that include Lettuce, Kale, Onions, Mint, and Arugula just to name a few.
Do you know what GOOS paper is? It stands for Good On One Side paper where one side has been used and the other is still blank. Our students understand the importance of making the most of our resources and in many of our classrooms, there are GOOS bins that they use religiously.
Our goal for next year is to create two NEW GOOS bins near the staff printers and make GOOS baskets for each classroom.
Initiated by our students in various classes (SK, grade2, grade 7), they wanted to take action connected to Earth Day and noticed much garbage in the schoolyard and surrounding areas, such as the nature trail behind our school (Saigeon Trail). Students asked the teachers if they could get outside and collect garbage! They encouraged their peers and inspired others to take action.