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An award-winning garden hosting only plants indigenous to this area was unveiled June 20 at Mission Central Elementary School.
The plot drew in many community members, school officials and First Nations volunteers over the course of several months.
A power point presentation in the school gym chronicled everyone’s efforts to bring the garden to life, and started off the afternoon. Aboriginal liaison worker for Mission Public Schools Wayne Martin explained the vision for the site, which was to have a place of contemplation, and invite elders to speak about the medicinal, ceremonial and nutritional values of the plants, as well as learn about water conservation and soil erosion.
A plaque was presented that afternoon in honour of ceremonial chief Paul Stanley, who helped create the garden, but passed away before it was finished. The plaque also honours all people who attended St. Mary’s Residential School, and the children of Central.
The garden earned second place in the national Jack Layton Awards in the youth action in sustainability category. Central’s garden was among 300 entries vying for top spot.
Martin presented school principal Brian Barber with the award during the ceremonies.