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Digging in the Dirt at Immaculate Conception

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Grade 1 Immaculate Conception student Cordelia Brosha couldn't wait to have her turn to plant one of the many donated flowers on September 11 as her school took part in a regreening through winning the "Ugliest Schoolyard" contest.

September 12, 2014 - On September 11, despite the day’s cold temperature, the rain held off for the students and staff from Immaculate Conception Catholic Elementary, and they were able to get their new plants, trees and shrubs in the ground thanks to VETAC, Greater Sudbury’s Regreening Advisory Panel. As winners of this year’s “Ugliest School Yard Contest, the school received a cash donation form Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations as well as supplies from several local businesses, and expert advice to help transform their schoolyard into a greener space for the students. Several members of the Sudbury Horticultural society were on hand, as well as parent and grandparent volunteers, and community partners. All students came out to take part in the planting of the smaller plants and shrubs and were shown the proper methods of planting. Grade 3/4 teacher Tammy Rychlo was thrilled with the event as she had been working with her class for the last year creating the “Immaculate Conception Green Squad”. By applying for and receiving a speak up grant – Rychlo was able to create with her class and some volunteers raised garden beds and planted vegetables from seeds cultivated at first in their classroom. The students even took turns meeting once a week during the summer for “Watering Wednesdays” so that they could ensure that the veggies were growing well. The payoff was that many were able to bring home fresh healthy vegetables during the summer months.
With the school winning this contest – her students were able to tie in all that they had learned about being stewards of the earth and the positive impact of creating greener spaces all around.
School principal, Louisa Bianchin was thrilled with the event. “ We are very thankful to all the organizations involved in helping us beautify our schoolyard,” Bianchin stated. “Our students are so excited to see the transformation, and to be able to be a part of it is a wonderful learning opportunity for them!”

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