1 – Queen Mary Elementary Water Wise II






Project Title

"Water Wise" - Food Garden Irrigation

Organization Name

Queen Mary Elementary School


School garden, food garden, urban agriculture, irrigation

Organization Information

Organization Name

Queen Mary Elementary School

Mission and Vision of Organization

Our mission is to build a respectful community of lifelong learners. We work towards being caring, accomplished and cooperative citizens. We aim to provide an enriched environment in which children are encouraged to think, question, create and wonder.

Guiding Principles + Values

  • Demonstrate personal responsibility and self-control
  • Respect each other, respect each other and respect property
  • Becoming socially and environmentally conscious learners

As students develop in age, they will show increasing maturity, decision making and leadership qualities.

We value:

  • Connection to land, teaching students how we obtain our food
  • Accessibility for all students and staff to use the garden

Contact Information

  • Primary Contact Person(s): Sheila Kuzmiski, Maria King, Michael Atkinson
  • Email: skuzmiski@vsb.bc.ca; matkinson@vsb.bc.ca mking@vsb.bc.ca
  • Address: 2000 Trimble Street, Vancouver BC
  • Phone: 604 713 5464
  • Website: http://go.vsb.bc.ca/schools/queenmary/Pages/Default.aspx
  • Best time(s) method(s) to contact: Email

Project Information

Project Description

Queen Mary has on-site raised European garden beds and native plant areas. Staff have been working with students and a variety of community groups for the past several years to make the best use of these resources. (teaching spaces) Queen Mary School community envisions having garden beds that are able to be watered by an automatic system throughout the year (especially needed as the garden needs automatic tending during the weekends, holidays and summer) so that the garden can be viable throughout the year.

This would enable classroom teachers and students to plan, plant and harvest throughout the year and have the garden automatically watered.

UBC students will research and price out automatic watering systems that would be available for the garden beds, what are the options, the pros and cons of each watering system.

Project Goal

UBC students will research and present 3-5 options to the gardening committee for water irrigation.

Student Assets and Skills (preferred or required)

  • Research skills, to find out what irrigation options there are for school gardens
  • Investigation skills, find out what other schools are doing and what system is working the best
  • Critical thinking: list pros and cons for each irrigation option and include pricing: cost of set up, purchasing the irrigation system, upkeep of the irrigation system
  • Organization skills: to present the information in an organized, thorough, clear format to the school to determine the best option

Criminal record check required?

  • Not required

Project Location

  • Any location where there is an automatic irrigation system: Student can research and investigate other places that have a successful water irrigation system, find out what systems are successful and why
  • Vancouver School Board- can meet with the VSB gardening personnel for suggestions

Preferred Days of Week and Hours

UBC students can work during 8 am to 4 pm for investigating other schools and meeting with VSB, depending on the availability of the person who is talking about the irrigation system.

Project/Partner Orientation Materials

  • Site visit to see the garden spaces and the current water valve at Queen Mary. UBC students will find out how other sites are successful with automatic watering.
  • Review Fall 2018 LFS350 student Infographic for additional context

Related Community Service Opportunities for Students

Presentation to Think Eat Green Systems (TEGS) meeting of findings. TEGS is a committee of interested staff and parents working to promote using the gardens for students to gain a healthy connection to nature.

Expected Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

I hope students will learn about

  • What irrigation systems are available and what are the costs and upkeep for school gardens
  • How to research, investigate and find out pros and cons before presenting information
  • How to effectively present to a committee

I think students will come to appreciate

  • How important it is to have a system of watering in place that will allow the teachers, parents and students to plan and plant year round

Through this project, students will develop

  • An ability to do cost / efficiency analysis

Organizational Outcomes

  • Provide options for school garden irrigation
  • Clear explanation of how each irrigation system works, cost of implement and upkeep and pros and cons of each system
  • Consensus on which system PAC will purchase for the school

This is very valuable for our community; it is the foundation for our garden program. The research, footwork, investigation will be greatly appreciated by staff and parents at the school. Your research and work will empower the school to decide on the best water irrigation option for our school gardens.

source: https://wiki.ubc.ca/Course:LFS350/Projects/W2019/QMEWaterWise