Wild Minds builds on 11 years of food growing education with students in the Britannia School gardens and surrounding community garden spaces by providing valuable hands-on skill building and understanding of food growing, ecology, environmental sustainability, and community leadership in their school and community gardens.
Wild Minds emerged is a collaboration between the Grandview Woodland Food Connection and the Environmental Youth Alliance in order to expand Britannia Student’s connections to the much larger Strathcona and Cottonwood community gardens where EYA works.
This year, 12 youth joined the program, many of them from Streetfront Alternative and who face systemic barriers in life. The youth received minimum wage honorariums for attendance. For many youth, Wild Minds provided their first paid work experience.
The opportunities to learn in the gardens were varied and unique, keeping the youth fully engaged and interested. The 4.5 acre gardens which include orchards, bee hives, community gardens, pond areas, animal habitat, food forests, herb gardens, and existing wild areas provided the youth a new perspective of food growing and nature in the city.
Over the 10 sessions that the youth participated, they learned about bees and pollinators, native plants and soils, birds, seed-saving, composting and mulching, permaculture practice, animal habitat, food growing and garden maintenance, herbs and medicinals, and fruit growing, to name a few.