© Jimmy Chicaiza © Jimmy Chicaiza

Les Jardins des Patriotes

Les Jardins des Patriotes

02/09/2015 - Present

Les Jardins des Patriotes is a greening, embellishing and food production project at Louis-Joseph-Papineau School with three major scopes to it’s goal – social, educational and environmental. The project comprises of four zones: a fruit tree orchard, a green rest area for school personnel, an artistic garden featuring works made with reused objects and a food production garden adjacent to an educational garden for children. The surface area of the garden is 300 m2 and about 30 fruit trees are found in the orchard.

In the framework of the educational component of the project, students in a special work preparation program are trained in urban agriculture and landscaping in order for them to be able to reintegrate the job market in their respective fields. The educational approach is similar to the one used in environmental education where learning is achieved through interdisciplinary projects that include all subject matters. In-class workshops are taught in collaboration with Ça pousse!, a program of the NDG Food Depot.

One of the environmental objectives of this project is to aim for a system based on circular economy. Hence, organic matter from the gardens is composted, seedlings are started in class, harvested produced is transformed in the kitchens on-site, other produce is sold at the market, and an effort is made to reuse objects as much as possible. By greening the schoolyard, the project contributes to the fight against urban heat islands and to carbon dioxide sequestration in the neighborhood. A wildflower patch has also been planted in order to create habitat for pollinators. The environmental component of the project is supported by the éco-quartier Saint-Michel/François-Perrault et le Pari Saint-Michel.

Finally, the social aspect of the project involves summer job creation for local youth in the gardens and at the Saint-Michel Solidarity Market. Volunteer opportunities are also offered in the gardens during the summer in order to allow members of the community to fight social exclusion and isolation. Partners of the project are also involved in a food production garden project in order to improve access to healthy produce through the Saint-Michel Solidarity Market.

© Staffan Widstrand / WWF © Staffan Widstrand / WWF

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