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Good growing: Lively school opens state-of-the-art horticulture room

Local students will learn to grow their own food, propagate plants and maintain gardens
Student Karina Kirwan takes care of the plants in the hydroponic system.

A state-of-the-art Horticulture Room was unveiled at Lively District Secondary School recently.

Cultivated through a collaboration between Rainbow District School Board, Cambrian College and Sudbury Shared Harvest, the Horticulture Room will accommodate students in the Grade 11 and 12 Green Industries: Horticulture Management and Science course, which focuses on the fundamentals of horticulture and landscape design.

Students will learn how to grow their own food, propagate plants and properly maintain plants and gardens.

Cambrian R&D also secured $75,000 from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) College and Community Social Innovation Fund for various supplies, including vertical hydroponic systems, which use a water-based nutrient solution to grow plants.

“Investing in students and student-led initiatives drives innovation, creativity and ultimately leads to real-world solutions,” said Sudbury MP Viviane Lapointe.

“This partnership is a great example of collaboration to create viable solutions, like agricultural sustainability. Congratulations to Lively District Secondary School and Cambrian College on this incredible partnership that will have a lasting impact on our community, creating a more sustainable future for all.”

Nickel Belt MP Marc Serré also sent congratulations.

“Congratulations to Lively District Secondary School on the unveiling of its new greenhouse classroom,” Serré said. “Supported by Cambrian College’s Urban Agriculture funding and NSERC's College and Community Social Innovation Fund, this venture is a true demonstration of nurturing both minds and greener environments.”

Resin and cedar propagation tables for the Horticulture Room were designed and built by students working with Cambrian R&D, the applied research division of Cambrian College. 

“This project has been a great opportunity for Cambrian College students to hone their skills by taking what they learn and applying it to real world situations,” said Mike Commito, director of Cambrian R&D. “It’s been a great experience for our students to design and fabricate a number of unique elements for this new classroom. The project demonstrates how social innovation and applied research can help affect positive change at the community level.”

Rainbow District School Board funded the installation of new flooring as well as improved electrical and plumbing to retrofit a classroom into a modern green space for teaching and learning. 

Many improvements were inspired by students in the school's Specialist High Skills Major in Environment, who took part in an Innovation, Creativity, Entrepreneurship (ICE) Challenge to select finishes for the space under the guidance of school and board staff. Sudbury Shared Harvest, a local not-for-profit that helps people learn to grow their own food, provided additional support through a Peavey Mart Community Agricultural Grant.

“We are incredibly grateful to our partners for working with us to bring this vision to life,” said Susan Kett, principal of Lively District Secondary School. “Students will develop a greater appreciation for healthy foods, learn the importance of sustainable practices, and gain valuable life skills. Our students will reap the benefits of this new learning space for years to come.”


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