It’s an idea that was thought up over two years ago, and now, with the help of Crowsnest Pass council and CNP 40, will finally become a reality.

As one of the challenges during the 2021 Amazing Teen Race, teams were asked, if they had $1,000, how they would improve a day in the life of a teen in Crowsnest Pass.

The winning entry, at the time, was for the building of a community garden at Crowsnest Pass Consolidated High School in Coleman.

But with a limited growing season and potential wildlife encroachment, that concept has now evolved to the purchase of two indoor tower gardens that can better help the school’s foods class and a weekly soup program held at CCHS.

“Right now, the school has to buy all of its stuff from local grocery stores, which really is a hindrance on the school and the students. As prices go up, a lot of students can’t actually get those healthy alternatives,” said student Quinn Douglas, following his presentation to council Dec. 5. 

“This is a really good opportunity to get those kids to eat healthier and for the school to spend money on other things that are more important for the student body.”

At a combined cost of over $3,000 for the two tower gardens, the Grade 12 student approached council to see if the remaining $2,049.20 could come from the municipality with $1,000 already provided by CNP 40, which sponsors the annual race.

“I think it’s great to see,” said Mayor Blair Painter. “Kudos to those folks for being creative and thinking what they can do to benefit the rest of the students. Not everybody has the same opportunities and food is very important and I think this is a great project. I hope it grows.”

While a location for the aeroponic project has yet to be chosen within the school, it will need to be somewhere where there’s direct sunlight, Quinn said.

“We’re hoping to have things up and running by the new year,” added CNP 40 co-ordinator Stephanie Olsen.

“We’ll probably start with an herb garden, maybe some vegetables. You couldn’t grow carrots but your leafy greens, like lettuce … maybe, cherry tomatoes.”

And based on its success, Stephanie feels it might be something the Livingstone Range School Division might want to look at down the road as well.

“I think it could go into a preschool setting, kindergarten, a Grade 3, ISS [Isabelle Sellon School in Blairmore] … absolutely.”

Crowsnest Pass council has agreed to fund the remaining cost for the two tower gardens from its mill rate stabilization reserve.

By Dave Lueneberg, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Dec 13, 2023 at 16:49

This item reprinted with permission from   Shootin' the Breeze   Pincher Creek, Alberta

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