August 15, 2017
The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) has given its 2017 Environmental Education Award to Kawartha Pine Ridge teacher Lana Maingot for organizing her students and community to develop a “pollination station” garden for bees.
The award is presented to an ETFO member in recognition of their outstanding commitment to the care and protection of the environment.
A teacher at John M. James Public School in Bowmanville, Lana conceived of “The Hive”, a 2014 massive art installation project by students and staff to draw attention to the disappearance of honeybees. This past year, the school built a pollinators’ garden/outdoor classroom to help address the health and stability of native pollinator populations in the Bowmanville area.
Along with learning that native pollinators are on the decline because of nesting and habitat degradation, students learned what it means to practice environmental stewardship. Lana enlisted a pollination biologist and beekeeper as well as a Durham Master Gardener to discuss appropriate plants for the garden. Students built over 100 bee houses, ten of which were installed in the garden. The rest were sent home with students to be placed in their own gardens.
Named “The Hive: A Pollination Station”, the garden also serves as an outdoor classroom and innovative learning space for students. Lana also spearheaded a fundraising effort for the garden, securing funds from TD Bank, Ontario Power Generation, Kawartha Pine Ridge ETFO Teacher Local and the school council, among others.
“Lana’s incredibly innovative environmental project has brought a whole new level of understanding to students, her school and community on what it means to be environmental stewards,” said ETFO President Sam Hammond. “The use and care of the garden by students addresses many fundamental concepts in the Ontario curriculum including sustainability in science, working for the common good in social studies and connecting mathematics to the real world.”
ETFO is committed to building better schools. Its Building Better Schools education agenda can be viewed at buildingbetterschools.ca. The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario represents 78,000 elementary public school teachers, occasional teachers and education professionals across the province.