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Environmental and Sustainability Education

Equity Education Garden

Due to construction in the winter of 2020, this garden has changed from two beds to one. It is currently being re-planted, so the plant map below will be updated soon.

Equity Garden

This garden highlights the values embraced by education for equity, social justice and inclusivity. The plants in this garden bed were chosen to symbolize diversity and difference found within the natural world, with recognition of how these differences are negotiated and respected so that each plant can flourish. The inclusion of plants that are often overlooked symbolize those who are overlooked and silenced, recognizing the importance of hearing and honouring marginalized voices and perspectives. The featured plants have "roots" in various communities and may play significant roles in cultures around the world. It is hoped that through the diversity represented in the garden viewers will see reflections of themselves, their cultures and communities. Through this garden we hope to inspire uplifting action, invoke a sense of belonging, and invigorate a critical consciousness of our own actions to help better shape and transform the places in which we live.    

Giant Purple Hyssop (Agastache scrophulariifolia)

Like meadowsweet, lavender hyssop is very fragrant; all parts of the plant are highly aromatic. Because of this, and like meadowsweet, it is commonly found in gardens for the visually impaired and also attracts a range of pollinators. It is edible with a wonderful licorice taste and is often consumed in salads and steeped in teas. Medicinally, lavender hyssop has been used to open up the airways. 

Wild Bergamont

Wild bergamot or bee balm is a fragrant native plant to Ontario that has clusters of soft pink or purple flowers. It has long been used by Aboriginal peoples of North America as a medicine and antiseptic to treat colds (brewed as tea) and infections and wounds (ground into a poultice). Tea made from wild bergamot has also been used as a stimulant in tea.

Wood Sorrel (Oxalis montana)

Like many native plants, and despite its many uses, wood sorrel has been labelled as a weed. Its leaves are edible and tasty in salads or on their own. Wood sorrel has small, delicate creamy pink blooms. Recognized as a weed, its presence is discouraged from many contexts but here, we welcome it not as a weed but rather as a valued member of the garden community.

Equity Garden Map


Resources on Equity and Inclusive Education

Articles and Books:

Cutter-Mackenzie, A. (2009). Multicultural school gardens: Creating engaging garden spaces for learning about language, culture, and environment. Canadian Journal of Environmental Education, 14, 122-136.