Federated Co-operatives Limited has given a Moose Jaw organization $45,000 to help educate students and the community about the environment and the health of watersheds.
The Moose Jaw River Watershed Stewards (MJRWS) will use the money from the Co-op Community Spaces Program to install a food farm and pollinator’s garden on the north side of Prince Arthur School at 640 Stadacona Street East.
“It’s fantastic. We are all very excited about (the funding),” said Carmen Kaweski, manager of MJRWS.
The food farm will focus on growing perennial plants, fruit trees and annual plants to help feed the community and provide for the school’s food program, she explained. The pollinator garden will be near the school grounds and will have picnic tables for students, a garden to attract bees, bats and birds, and structures to house bats.
“For the whole garden, we want to promote biodiversity and promote pollinators,” she added.
The Moose Jaw River Watershed Stewards began speaking with school administrators about this project in January. The organization wanted to ensure it was educating youths within the watershed about what it does, including about watershed health and protecting the environment.
“This was just a really nice project to do with the school. They were really interested in doing a community garden,” said Kaweski.
The organization was also looking for an interactive and educational space for the community, so it hoped that through the garden, it could promote important concepts, she continued. Such concepts include storm drain health, water contamination, efficient water use, climate use adaptation and food security, biodiversity, organic food production, and composting.
Kaweski believes the organization can undertake many activities using the interactive area to teach students and the community about those concepts.
The Moose Jaw River Watershed Stewards hopes the community adopts the gardens as its own and helps it grow, she added. The organization wants this initiative to be a grassroots-driven space.
The Co-op Community spaces Program provided nearly $1 million in funding to 17 projects across the country, according to a news release. Since 20125, the program has provided $9.5 million to 132 projects in the categories of recreation, environmental conservation and urban agriculture.
More information about the program is at communityspaces.ca.