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Re-imagining Children’s Spaces in Winnipeg

Published on April 29, 2015

The Shaughnessy Medicine Wheel Garden. (photo: Evergreen)
The Shaughnessy Medicine Wheel Garden. (photo: Shelagh McGregor, Teacher, Shaughnessy Park School)

By: Amal Musa, Project Manager, Children's Programs, Evergreen

Shaughnessy Park School in Winnipeg was designed as a teaching garden, incorporating the circle teachings of the medicine wheel including: fire, water, air and earth. The plants and flowers reflect these elements and colors in each quadrant and feature traditional medicines and indigenous plants of Manitoba. The garden is encircled by 13 boulders to represent the 13 moons of the year and seven cedar benches will represent the seven teachings. Providing an outdoor learning space for students and a natural setting to enjoy the environment for the local community.

The Medicine Wheel Garden at Shaughnessy Park School is a great example of student initiative and community support for greening schoolgrounds across Winnipeg.

In the last ten years, these projects have been heavily dependent on the community partnerships and support we receive in Winnipeg. While Evergreen offers support and expertise, it is the schools, daycares, teachers, administrators and parents who serve on school ground greening committees that champion projects and bring them to fruition. Individual schools plan and fundraise for their own projects, galvanizing support by reaching out to and connecting with countless community members.

What may be conceived as simple capital projects, when designed and installed thoughtfully, with children’s mental, emotional, and physical development needs in mind, these projects have the power to raise awareness in community about the important role outdoor play has on public health and well-being.

Through the additional support of the Winnipeg Foundation, 16 schools and 6 daycares in the Winnipeg area have been able to receive design consultations, hands-on planning, and the personalized implementation support needed to transform school grounds into dynamic and exploratory outdoor classrooms.

Since 1991, Evergreen has supported schools in realizing their visions of more diverse natural landscapes that are both nurturing and stimulating. Our comprehensive Toyota Evergreen Learning Grounds program supports the planning, design, implementation, maintenance and educational use of green school grounds, building strong and vibrant communities in the process.

Learn more about the Toyota Evergreen Learning Grounds Program