We are pleased to be here to present the Route to Roots Stewardship and Sustainability Plan, and hope that there is some information here that will help you with your project. As well, there may be an opportunity to enlighten us and provide suggestions and we would most appreciate that as well.
After the excitement of installation, the community of volunteers is not as galvanized to take on the less-than-glamourous aspects of the garden upkeep and this involves: watering, removal of weeds or invasive plants, cleaning of litter and addition of organic materials such as mulch and soil and new plants as required. A sustainable management maintenance plan is required to reduce volunteer time and coordination efforts, but maximizing the available resources, and it was recognized by our committee that we were at the stage where we needed to create one.
We recognized that the volunteers who started this project, and who remain the core of the group have kids who will eventually leave the school and while we are all committed as community members who have a passion for this project to continue to volunteer our help, we think it is very important to have a plan in place that shows how the maintenance will be managed once we are out of the school. Our plan is based closely on the stewardship model provided by the Calgary Zoo and CBE, but we have additional items including appendices of all the garden drawings, plants and a rough irrigation map.
Here are some highlights of our plan that we will cover with you today. As well we have two hard copies for review, and can send pdf versions of this document for anyone who would like a closer look. Our project consists of many phases, and we are committed to maintaining the existing phases before moving forward with the project. We have an amibitous vision, but we are recognizing the importance of being able to show the community we can manage what is existing before moving on to further phases. We have also included some great resources on stewardship and curriculum connections, some details of successful fundraisers. We have outlined a detailed moisture strategy. As well we have included our budget which we will review with you in detail and a yearly calendar of maintenance related scheduling.
While we cannot show you every page of the document, and much can likely be edited to make it more our maintenance and sustainability plan much more manageable, we are showing you the components by featuring this table of contents -- again, based on the stewardship plan of CBE and the Zoo, but with some additonal information. We attach to this document pictures of all of the gardens and a rough drawing of the irrigation.
Our plan is essentially The go-to document of all things and everything. The history, vision and future plans of the project. Some highlights of our plan include our original vision and statement of intent. Many of the foundations created at the beginning of the project are in this plan. Why are we doing this, and what do we hope to achieve. This will help us when we are evaluating our progress and whether the project is meeting the goals of the school, committee and community. Details each phase of project and background of project including vision. And as you are aware from seeing our main project presentation, history is integral to this project, and therefore, it only makes sense that we document everything!
This plan is evolving. And is being edited and adjusted, even as we speak so that it meets our needs and the needs of those who will take over the project in the future. So, with regular weeding and recording, we keep it relevant. Purging may only happen once or twice a year but it involves the entire committee. With all school garden projects, it is important to keep expectations in check, and our goal is not to reach perfection, but to deal with our present challenges in the most efficient way, while providing learning opportunities for students as well. We hope to find a balance with maintenance and the natural growth that occurs in the garden, pleasing the community and school. We do want the gardens to look good, and to look cared for, as this helps strengthen the overall sustainability of them.
Here is a picture of our outdoor classroom, a great location for garden meetings as well! We have included detailed job descriptions of each role on the committee and these roles evolve and change also, so this requires regular updating. Why are job descriptions important to the maintenance plan? Because our plan is ambitious, it is helpful to divide up the roles to help delegate the various jobs. Having a parent representative on the parent council is crucial to success of the project. This role will need to be filled by the parent council once our Design Lead/Parent Representative leaves the school, and that will occur in one year’s time. It will be important for the parent council to look at succession planning to see who will take on this role next. Ideally, the community board would also include a representative for this project. It is important that the community of Renfrew knows that a plan is in place, and should the gardens begin to look uncared for, they can call the school, or contact their representative who will act as a liasion between the community and the school. We have a few members of the project who live in the community who will likely continue their involvement and watch over to ensure all is well.
A very important commitment for garden and naturalization projects is the parent council reserve for maintenance funds. On average, from some of our research these budgets will be anywhere around the 2000+ range. This is a reserve that can be used for upkeep and if agreed, enhancements to the project, and curriculum resources depending on the amount of the reserve. Because of some significant challenges we have had with quackgrass, for example, and the care required for our veggie gardens, and a variety of circumstances, we required professional help last summer. Our first stab at a contractor was not successful in getting at some of our weed issues (he turned out to be a hard landscaper and not a weed guy), and we eventually hired our project manager’s company to help. We proposed our initial requirement would be for 5000 that eventually goes down to 2000 by 2013. Our goal then, is to reduce the financial burden by having a well maintained garden and this is intended to make the project more sustainable as well, if the parent council can easily meet the financial side of the maintenance requirements. Last year, we bought a shed that was assembled by volunteers. This is great for providing storage for tools and we need to add to this stock of equipment and tools. We include an inventory of tools in our maintenance document.
$$$$Fundraiser $50 donation to fill a bucket for a class To provide items to help the classes help care for and explore the gardens including: Sunhats Sunscreen Magnifying glass Water buckets Gardening gloves Measuring Tape $$$$Fundraiser $50 donation to fill a bucket for a class To provide items to help the classes help care for and explore the gardens including: Sunhats Sunscreen Magnifying glass Water buckets Gardening gloves Measuring Tape
It was highly recommended by other school principals and by CBE to include irrigation in our project. Not all our gardens are irrigated though. Our outdoor classroom and the Bridgeland Veggie garden are not irrigated. The outdoor classroom required many volunteer hours and the lugging of hoses to keep shrubs and trees surviving for the first few years. After that experience, we were easily convinced of the demands required to keep these gardens watered. The cost of irrigation initially is more, but lines are easily added. There has been a learning curve with the maintenance of the irrigation system, but Regency Irrigation have been very helpful along the way, and involved the students in putting in the irrigation lines. There needs to be a strong partnership between the caretakers and the committee in case things go wrong such as leaks and subsequent flooding of gardens. Our Project Manager has helped a great deal by learning about how to do some minor adjustments to repair cracked lines so that we don’t have to pay Regency Irrigation to come out each time we have a leak. Some parts have been provided so that this can be handled by us. Our project also has lines that go out to the Neigbourwoods trees on _____________ and those trees are really doing fantastic. It is important to note that while plants thrive with the irrigation, and look incredible, weeds also enjoy the water and need to be stayed on top of!
Each item briefly explained
Quick overview of timeline
We hope that by providing some examples of our successes and challenges, you have a good idea about areas you may need to research further for your project. We do recommend keeping the maintenance of your project front and center, and you are welcome to use our document for ideas or as a template. Our intention is to leave a structure in place that is integrated into the school and community that will allow others to maintain the project and continue to add enhancements to make it better. A plan is an important step in establishing the management of your gardens. Ofcourse, it is our hope the school community will begin to see many opportunities for learning and education about the environment, what it takes to be green, and we also hope all the neighbours appreciate the foliage, trees and shrubs and flowers and that Being Sustainable isn’t easy, but we are learning! And if you are starting a project, it is important to learn that this will involve learning – and you must be patient with yourselves! Thank you for your time, and to the Calgary Zoo for being a big part of the beginning of our project, supporting us along the way, and for allowing us to host today’s Think Tank. We think that the Think Tank is a great way to pull together various groups that may have ideas and questions.
Maintenance and Sustainability Plan Route to Roots ThinkTank Presentation
Route to Roots Stanley Jones and Alice Jamieson Girls’ Academy Historical Garden Project maintenance & Sustainability Plan
on-going challenges after installation…. upkeep , watering, weeds, litter and addition of organic materials . A sustainable management maintenance plan is required to reduce volunteer time and coordination efforts, but maximizing the available resources….
maintenance & Sustainability Plan 50+ page document, samples available to look at; available by email in pdf; work in progress! That’s why we created a For Root to Routes, our Historical Garden Project Based on the stewardship model supported by CBE and the Calgary Zoo Plus appendices of all the garden drawings and irrigation map
Highlights of our maintenance &Sustainability Plan COMPLETE PHASES BEFORE MOVING AHEAD MAINTENANCE BUDGET STEWARDSHIP AND CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS DETAILED MOISTURE STRATEGY YEARLY CALENDAR OF MAINTENANCE TO DO’S STATEMENT OF INTENT BUCKS FOR BUCKETS FUNDRAISER
Project Overview Page 4-14 Statement of Intent of Projec Background and Vision of Project Route to Roots Timeline Page 15 Ensuring Stewardship and Sustainability of Naturalization Projects: Stewardship Model Page 16 Roles of Green Committee Page 19-21 Areas of Concern Page 22 Use of Site/Project Page 22 Care of Site Page 24 Enhancement of Site, Landowner involvement Page 25 Ecological Considerations Page 27 Compaction, Pest Strategies Page 27 Connecting Curriculum to Maintenance Page 28 Maintenance Tools Page 30 Moisture Strategy/Irrigation System Page 32 Weeding, plant replacement, trimming/pruning Page 34 Maintenance Budget and Funds Page 35 Rejuvenating Neglected Project/Sunset Clause Page 36-37 Student Garden Club Page 38 Maintenance Plan in a Nutshell (All Seasons) Page 39 Summer Maintenance Plan Page 40 Annual Maintenance Inventory Page 41 Garden Maintenance Resources Page 42 Sample Spreadsheet used when organizing maintenance Page 43 Supplies and Suppliers Page 44 Emergency Contact Information Page 45 APPENDICES Drawings and Plant List of All Gardens Maintain Your Schoolyard Garden – Cherryland Elementary Rough Plan Irrigation TABLE OF CONTENTS
Our PLAN includes the history and vision and statement of intent of the project, Route to Roots : “ May you have the hindsight to know where you've been, The foresight to know where you are going, And the insight to know when you have gone too far”
Like our gardens, our plan is a ‘living’ document! WEED ---take out what is no longer needed; outgrown concepts/plans PLANT --- new ideas, record inspiration and perspiration MANAGE --- Expectations! Keep it real for the committee, and the community (ie: realistic, attainable, manageable…. not perfect ) IDEAL? REALITY! EASILY AND NATURALLY MAINTAINED (sigh)
detailed job descriptions for each role on the committee: parent representative/design lead, project manager, teachers and students, history group, fundraising/grants committee community, curriculum liaison
$5,000, 2010 $4,000, 2011 $3,000 2012 $2,000 2013 and onwards And they commit to a maintenance budget for R2R (as long as these funds are within their means to reach): We have an amazing Parent Council who support the project
BUCKS FOR BUCKETS $$$$ FUNDRAISER $50 donation to fill a bucket for a class To provide items to help the classes help care for and explore the gardens including: Sunhats Sunscreen Magnifying glass Water buckets Gardening gloves Measuring Tape $50 donation to fill a bucket for a class
IRRIGATION SYSTEM Adds value and is sustainable for the future if maintained Early phases – needs water for 2 years, especially for historically relevant (non indigenous) plans. Indigenous plants also need water during dry seasons (and are thriving with irrigation) Watch out for initial challenges with leaks, and water overuse that results Ensures buy in of volunteers by automating important but labour intensive tasks Promotes eco awareness at Stanley Jones – water can be collected from school runoff in a 10,000 gallon tank, if school decides to go that route
Adhere signs to sides, not tops of rock Signage coming off rocks Fence areas in high traffic zones until established; educate students; other building occupants on weekends/eves Vandalism and/or unintended plant destruction What are we doing to overcome these? What are our greatest challenges ? Use stronger fabric for high traffic zones Paving with asphalt to define path Landscape fabric and pathway material Maintenance Fund Finances to get on top of maintenance issues Families commit to week in summer, also pay for landscaper for seasonal work, irrigation system; co-operation and communication with school caretakers Maintenance of gardens in summer Dig deep below roots for new gardens Paid landscaper to assist last summer to get on top of, need to stay on top of Quackgrass Curriculum Liaison Year Ahead Planning Present project to new teachers Integrating stewardship and maintenance into the school & surrounding community
Route to roots YEARLY MAINTENANCE CALENDAR Break December Indoor School Projects: Writing Articles, November Irrigation Shut Down Fall Clean Up and Harvest Day October Volunteer Recognition for Summer Care and project volunteers leaving school Introduce New Teachers to Project September Families adopt a week Landscaper Before School Clean if needed Harvest vegetables August Families adopt a week or a garden Check irrigation for leaks July Landscaper Clean Up/Weeding/Edging June Irrigation Start Up Planting Day (last Friday in May) May Do Walk About to Assess Existing Gardens Earth Day Create List, and Prioritize Present list to the Parent Council Weeding Day Plan Deliveries of mulch, soil and plants Write Article for May newsletter re: PLANTING DAY April Do WALK ABOUT Schedule Weeding Day Schedule Planting Day Write Article for April newsletter re: WEEDING DAY March Plan Dates for April Clean Up and May planting days Schedule March Walk About Announce Walk About in Newsletter February Break January
What we’d like to leave you with… NATURAL BEAUTY opportunities Inspiration A Sustainable Environment A PLAN A STRUCTURE "It doesn't matter how many say it cannot be done or how many people have tried it before; it's important to realize that whatever you're doing, it's your first attempt at it.“ ~ Wally Amos
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