A two-year project to turn a muddy construction zone at Terrace Ridge School into a welcoming outdoor space for students and staff to enjoy turned into a last minute labour of love honouring one of their own, thanks to an ECHO Lacombe Grant.
On Wednesday, June 26, ECHO Lacombe Association announced their support – a $2,750 grant – for the school’s new outdoor garden space, which has since been dubbed “Robin’s Nest” in honour of retiring principal and breast cancer battler Robin Irvine.
“We started off with this really small project that, last minute, blew up and turned into this project,” said Grade 7 teacher Katelyn Dalton. “We got a new portable last Christmastime and it was a complete construction zone and mud pit so the idea was to spruce it up and turn it into a space students could use. Then it turned into an even bigger project when we realized our principal, Robin, was officially retiring this past spring so we wanted to get it done for (her) celebration day.”
The garden, located on the school’s south end, features picnic tables, raised garden and flower beds and will soon have blooming edible plants and fruit trees.
Perhaps the most eye-catching feature, however, is coloured rocks cemented in the garden curbing.
“Each student in the school was able to paint their own rock and the idea is they’re messages of hope, love, gratitude and kindness – something Robin carried even though she was battling breast cancer for many years. She always walked the halls with this attitude of gratitude,” she said. “It’s very cool how all the students now have their own part cemented right into the school grounds and it was a way to bring that culture into our school and harvest that attitude of gratitude.”
However, concerns about the rocks being stolen, or sent through a school window arose, which was where ECHO Lacombe stepped in to provide grant funds to get the cement poured and the rocks installed for the end of the school year.
“We came into this project pretty quickly, which is one of the things we like to do. We consider that a win for ECHO to be able to help them out and get this (project) finished,” said ECHO Lacombe Association President Drayton Bussiere. “The reason this (project) fits is it’s put on by the school, but it really will have a community effect, so it’s a long lasting beautification project that has benefit to the community.
“It was really just a natural fit for the ECHO grants, so it’s something we’re excited to be able to get behind.”
For more information on the Echo Energy, or to apply for the ECHO Lacombe Fund, contact Guy Lapointe at (403)782-1263 or via email at email@example.com.