Glashan students OTTAWA- Monday was the official kick-off of the Majesta “Trees of Knowledge Competition” at Glashan Public School. Glashan is the first school in Ottawa to take part in a greening project of this size. Glashan P.S. is one of two schools in Ontario that qualified for the finals. To celebrate the kick-off of the contest, Glashan held a special event. It was jammed packed with enthusiasm, excitement and smiling faces, accompanied by an overwhelming sense of togetherness. The event was filled to the brim with students, parents, teachers and delegates. They all gathered together in this tiny gym for one reason, support. The kick-off was emceed by two, young, charismatic girls, who didn’t shy away from a crowd of 500+. There were even special performances, speakers and entertainment. It was a very inspiring event.
The Glashan Greening Project was started by Ecology Ottawa volunteer, Angela-Keller-Herzog. One day she was walking by Glashan and noticed there was a bunch of dying ash trees along the school’s south side. Angela contacted the principal, members of The School Board, and the Grounds Department. The wheels were in motion; Angela’s actions triggered a number of events. The dying ash trees were tagged to be removed and replaced with new ones. In response to a grant application, the city awarded Glashan a $10,000 grant to further green their property. Glashan is in for some major changes this year, which are long overdue.
Glashan managed to gather a team of all-star speakers to address the crowd that included our very own Mayor, Jim Watson, who said we’re “making Ottawa an even greener city!” Olympic athlete, Corey Sorenson delivered an inspiring speech that really got the kids excited, engaged and ready to vote! The crowd was filled with people from all walks of life: policeman, politicians, school board members, councillors and just concerned citizens.
The event kicked off with a performance piece by group of teens from Glebe High School, Offbeat. The group of 20-25 members took the stage one by one, delivering what I can only call an incredibly unique performance. They used garbage cans, empty juice jugs, brooms and whatever else they could get their hands on to make their own sound. The outcome was a sound of new-age tribal music accompanied by the smiling faces of students. It was a great way to get the crowd hyped up.
The success of this project can be attributed to the hard work of the students, teachers, parents and other volunteers; who joined together to make their schoolyard a greener, safer, more sustainable place for children to play. Students and volunteers held meetings in order to get the students input on the project. This initiative is led by Glashan’s caring, hardworking students, without them the project wouldn’t be possible. The students even created blueprints and talked with experts in horticulture to devise a plan of action. A massive amount of time, energy and planning went into this project. If Glashan wins the “Trees of Knowledge” competition they’ll get a $20,000 dollar grant to create an outdoor classroom, and to turn the concrete jungle they call a yard, into a beautiful green space for all to enjoy. The greening project will also consists of building gardens, laying grass, planting trees, planting flowers, etc. The Glashan “Outdoor Classroom” is endorsed by Canadian musician, Bruce Cockburn, who was unfortunately unable to attend the kick-off, but was there in spirit.
The event finished off with a short performance from a group of break-dancers from Glashan P.S., called Robotics. Wearing a phantom of the opera type mask, they danced their way onto the. At the very end of the kick-off students presented all the delegates and volunteers with a large banner as a sign of gratitude. Pictures were taken, smiles were exchanged, and the overall message of the event was very clear - Vote! Vote! And vote again! You can vote once a day for the next month, right up until the day the competition ends. So, get on your laptops, smart phones or PCs, visit www.majestatreesofknowledge.ca, and show your support! Glashan P.S. is a truly deserving school that is long overdue for change.