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Langford schools looking a little greener with environmental stewardship grant funding

$50,000 to be split between 7 SD62 schools
From left: Belmont Grade 11 student Dylan Miller, outdoor education teacher Dayna Christ-Rowling, Grade 12 student Ally Arnold and Grade 11 student Alysia St Jacques in front of the student garden at Belmont Secondary. (Bailey Moreton/News Staff)

The City of Langford is partnering with the Sooke School District to set up an environmental stewardship grant for SD62 schools.

A total of $50,000 will be spread between multiple schools that run environmental initiatives in Langford. The schools set to receive money include Crystal View Elementary School, Millstream Elementary School, Ruth King Elementary School, Willway Elementary School, Spencer Middle School, Centre Mountain Lellum Middle School and Belmont Secondary School. Elementary schools can get up to $2,500, while middle schools are eligible for up to $5,000 with up to $10,000 for high schools.

SD62 board chair Ravi Parmar recalled when he was a Belmont student and his graduating class was offered $10,000 if they planted 100 trees in the community.

“We were so excited. But these kids aren’t doing it for the money, they’re doing it to fight climate change,” he said.

Belmont has a number of courses geared towards the environment, including a sustainability program that teaches kids to grow food locally in a garden behind the school and a social justice program that encourages students to help develop service projects in the community.

Dayna Christ-Rowling, an outdoor education teacher at Belmont, noted “every course is kind of geared to ‘how do we keep this place sustainable for our future?’ So it’s just nice to be able to do (the students’) inquiry projects and put them into action. So when they have a question, they figure out the answer – this is how we can solve it, this is something that we can do … We can say this is an amazing way to spend some money to either promote or educate or do the action that needs to be done.”

Funds for the SD62 environmental stewardship grant were raised during the mayor’s charity golf tournament.

The money for the stewardship grant is coming from funds raised during the annual Mayor’s Charity Golf Tournament.

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