Moose Jaw River Watershed Stewards
Urban Food Farm
Carmen Kaweski, MJRWS Manager
For six years, Co-op has been helping to build places for everyone – including new funding for the Moose Jaw River Watershed Stewards Inc. (MJRWS) This year, Co-op is providing $45,000 to create an organic urban food farm and pollinator’s garden at Prince Arthur School in Moose Jaw. MJRWS is partnering with Prince Arthur School, Prince Arthur School Community Council (SCC), Moose Jaw Co-op, and East Side Community Association to create this wonderful educational space. The school board has also donated an additional $28,000 to develop a greenhouse on the site. Prince Arthur School is keen on this project as it supports environmental curriculum, urban agriculture, and food security for the school and the community. The installation of the greenhouse ensures that they can support their food program for an extended period, beyond the traditional summer gardening season.
MJRWS intends to use the food farm as an educational space. They want to educate on concepts like supporting biodiversity and pollinators by creating the Pollinator’s Garden that will have bat houses installed and will grow flowers and plants specifically targeted to supporting bees, bats, and other pollinator species. They also want to support the notion of climate change resiliency and adaptation by supporting xeriscaping principles and minimizing water use by planting endemic species as much as possible. They are going to educate the community on water conservation and storm drain health by installing rain barrels for water collection and by making sure the garden space is organic by teaching the students about composting and nutrient recycling. For storm drain health, many people do not think about what goes down the drain on their city streets and are unaware that this water is not treated and goes directly into the river. We feel that by making the connection with the garden we can bring a lot of attention to this issue.
Having the food farm on school property ensures that on-going maintenance will
occur with this being part of the school programming every year. MJRWS will also continue to support the project by providing guidance, support and incorporating maintenance during the summer months into their summer education programming so neighborhood children continue to support and learn from the garden throughout the summer months.