Page 4 - November 9 2015
P. 4


Times Urban Agriculture

gives HRH students

a unique option

Last year, Urban Agriculture, Holy Redeemer's
newest senior high options class had only five students
and some start-up funds to get the program up and
running. Fast forward to the present day and the
program has grown to 17 very enthusiastic students and
several hundred dollars in donations from the local
“The program just took off,” says teacher Becky
Gantz. “I wanted to inspire the students who have a
passion for working with plants and wanting to grow
their own foods, as well as have a hands on class that
students can, forgive the pun, get their hands dirty. This
course was the answer.”
The Urban Agriculture class runs every second day as
a part of the many diverse and exceptional senior high
options classes at HRH. Students work in the newly
created garden on the west side of the school where they
grow and take care of various vegetables and plants.
“It's a really cool class,” says grade 10 student Colton
Welychka. “It's not a class where you just sit and a
classroom and listen, but you're outside working with
real tools and real plants.”
The program has even started selling their own Students at Holy Redeemer’s newest high school option class, Urban Agriculture, take a break from
products and the students sold $200 worth of produce in working in the garden to take a selfie. Brian Birkenhagen, Daniel Breen, Sheldon Chamberlain, Justice
the last month. “These funds will go straight back into Kreuh, Damon Linchet, Riley Mueller, Kyler Putzenberger, Aidan Toner, Connor Watt, Richard Webb,
the program,” says Gantz.
E v e n t h e l o c a l Welchka and Mrs. Becky Gantz.
community has taken note
of the class and has started
donating money to be used
towards expanding the
program. Last spring the
school received $400 Youth
E n v i r o n m e n t a l
Engagement Grant from the
A l b e r t a E m e r a l d
Foundation and this year
they received $500 from the
Yellowhead Agricultural
Society. Even things like
manure, straw and compost
have been donated by local
families in the community.
“These funds went towards
the purchase of lumber
raised beds, seeds and fruit
bearing trees and shrubs,”
says Gantz.
During the fall season, the
class is going to be working
on the food preservation for
pickled beans and carrots,
as well the development of
20' x 50' garden space for a
corn field.
One might say that this
kind of program can only
work during the spring and
fall months of the school
year, however the school is
working on plans on
constructing a 20' x 12'
greenhouse. “This building
would allow students to be
hands on throughout the
year,” says Gantz. “It is that
concept that makes the
program very unique and
this greenhouse is a huge
part of that.”
If you would like to
donate to this program,
please contact Gantz at the
Urban Agriculture joins a
wide variety of option
classes already offered at
HRH including Advanced
Acting, Art, Drama,
Fashion Studies, Fitness,
Foods, Industrial Arts, and
Technical Theatre.
If you would like more
information on this article
please feel free to contact
the school at 780-723-7437,
visit our website at
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