MINDEMOYA – Students and teachers from Central Manitoulin Public School (CMPS) enjoyed the warm spring weather on Friday, June 5 as they participated in self-guided activities in support of World Environment Day (WED).

“We don’t always celebrate just the day,” explained Cori Davy, CMPS teacher and Eco Team lead. “We usually have a whole Earth Week but weren’t able to do that this year.” Other CMPS teachers agreed it would be a nice break to get outside and do something positive for the Earth. They brainstormed and came up with a list of potential activities suitable for all grades whether the students lived in town or on a farm. 

Some students planted or watered gardens, others created no mow areas in their yards. Other activities included hanging clothes on the line, building a birdhouse or feeder, making bee boxes for wild bees, picking up litter on the beach, identifying birds, creating shelter in gardens for frogs and checking tire pressure for better gas mileage. 

Maeve plants a cherry tree at Central Manitoulin Public School for World Environment Day.

“We just wanted the kids to come out with a positive attitude today,” said Ms. Davy. “We wanted them to know they can make a little change, a difference in the world and what’s around them. We’re blessed to have a rural society. Kids appreciate it.”

Ms. Davy and family also planted some fruit trees in the school yard. The money to purchase the trees was received from a Learning for Sustainable Futures grant. “Schools can put in proposals for up to 400 dollars. We’ve used that grant many times for different projects but this year we wanted fruit trees.” 

Student members of the CMPS Eco Team decided what they wanted and Ms. Davy assisted with the online application. They planted cherry trees, a pecan tree, seedless grape vines and some shrubs. The trees are planted throughout the yard behind the school in a no mow zone, Ms. Davy said. “They’re planted strategically to make shady places for the kids in 20 years.” 

Last year two apple and two pear trees were planted in the same no mow zone. “The lawnmower will stay far away from the trees and it’s a nice corner for kids to have shade,” said Ms. Davy, a little sad the kids weren’t there this year to participate in the planting.

A slide show was created for students with photos of their various WED activities.