Grants will help Langford schools protect the environment

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Langford schools will all receive funds from a new environmental stewardship grant created by the city, which can be used in schools or in the community

The seven sites in the Sooke School District in Langford are receiving funds from a new environmental stewardship grant created by the city.

The money is being distributed to four elementary schools, two middle schools and Belmont High School, where the grant initiative was announced recently in the school garden.

Belmont will receive $10,000, while Spencer and Center Mountain Lellum Middle Schools will receive $5,000 each and Crystal View, Millstream, Ruth King and Willway Elementary Schools will receive $2,500 each.

Beneficiaries can use the money however they wish, either in the schools or in the wider Langford community.

“They can go and spend a little money cleaning up Glen Lake or Langford Lake or planting trees,” said Sooke School Board Chairman Ravi Parmar. “There are a lot of different things they can do.”

He said the funds will help students “feel empowered to make a difference”.

Alysia St. Jacques, a Grade 11 student at Belmont, said she appreciates the opportunity presented by the grant “because it’s not just about the planet, it’s about our future generations, it’s it’s about us growing up in a world we can say we’re proud of and a community we love.

She said the school garden is a symbol of protecting the Earth and also provides products for feeding classes.

“It really shows how easy it is to do your own part.”

Belmont principal Laura Fulton said teachers are “very aware” of the need to educate students about sustainability, and the funding will help with that.

“We know that environmental sustainability is essential to the health of our community and our planet, and we look forward to working with our students to plan our next steps. »

Belmont already offers environmental science classes and an outdoor education program with more than 160 students involved, she said. A work experience summer gardening program is also offered.

The money for the grants comes from Langford Mayor Stew Young’s annual charity golf tournament, which has raised more than $1 million for community causes over the past 26 years.

Young said the grant program aims to give young people “a meaningful opportunity to connect with nature” and could inspire career prospects.

jbell@timescolonist.com

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