For kids who find it difficult to learn in a traditional setting, the outdoors can be a great classroom. And hands-on, real world activities provide lessons that last.
Enter Foodology, a pilot program that aims to help youth understand how active experiences such as gardening, harvesting and food preparation are related to nutrition and well-being.
Last summer, 20 youth from Marymound rolled up their sleeves and learned about gardening, pickling, vermicomposting, beekeeping, and baking bread and bannock in an outdoor oven. Plus they took trips to the Assiniboine Park Zoo and a nearby farm.
“The impact seemed immediate,” says Scott Gray, the Conservancy’s Director of Park Programming. “There was a general ease of tension being at the park and knowing they were here to just have fun, to learn at their own pace, to explore new things and have opportunities that they may not have had before.”
The partnership between Marymound and Assiniboine Park Conservancy was one of 44 collaborations supported in 2014 as part of The Winnipeg Foundation’s “Smart & Caring” commitment to the community.
The Foundation pledged $2 million between 2012 and 2015 for projects that bring together local charitable organizations to share expertise and create innovative, high impact programming.
“Smart & Caring” is a call to action by Community Foundations of Canada to strengthen our country in the lead-up to 2017, the 150th anniversary of our nation’s founding.