As part of the ecological landscaping program, the Pays de Cocagne Sustainable Development Group (PCSDG) helps to implement community nursery, gardening, composting and water recovery projects with students of École Blanche-Bourgeois.

Community Nursery

As part of the PCSDG's ecological landscaping program, students run a community nursery project on the school grounds. In 2011, Gary Schneider, director of the Macphail Woods Ecological Forestry Project in PEI, visited the school to launch the community nursery project. The nursery project keeps on going with students replacing transplanted trees with a new series of indigenous species. The community nursery benefits students who learn about trees found in the Acadian Forest while funding school projects. In 2015, Grade 7 students sold more than $500 worth of native trees.

In October 2017, the PCSDG worked with 6th-grade students and their teacher Dorine Manuel as part of its School Tree Nursery project. Around fifteen 6th-grade students planted 200 trees : 40 balsam firs, 20 white pines, 45 black spruces, 85 red oaks and 20 yellow birches. Afterwards, they spread two bales of rye straw from the Fleur du pommier de Cocagne to protect the trees. Furthermore, the installation of new gardening bins, offered by the Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick (CCNB) – Dieppe, was made. Students filled the bins with a soil and compost mix from Aubodon Organics of Moncton.  In 2018, Grade 5 and 6 students planted 60 trees - 15 red maple, 15 sugar maple, 15 red oak, and 15 hemlock - as part of the Branch Out program.

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In the fall of 2019 at the Blanche Bourgeois School of Cocagne, the PCSDG worked with around 60 students and three teachers from grades 6 to 8; as well as about 15 students in grades 3 and 4. The students planted 131 trees: 24 balsam fir, 22 white pines, 17 spruce, 25 red oaks and 37 red maple trees. The 131 trees planted will absorb around 1300 kg of CO2 per year. Planting activities are part of the Young Stewards for Sustainability project.

Vegetable Garden

Since 2011, the PCSGD assists with planning, maintaining and harvesting the vegetable garden located on the school yardFrom one year to the next, students from various grades help out in the garden. In the fall of 2015, students from Grade 2 seeded more than 50 garlic cloves. In 2017, grade 6 students planted beans and potatoes. They also assisted with the gardens at the Villa Côte d’Or. In 2018, Grade 6 students planted, watered and weeded in the vegetable garden. In 2019, Grade 2 students harvested tomatoes, potatoes, squash, carrots, and bean seeds, and planted garlic in the fall.

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The PCSGD helped to develop a composting site at the Blanche-Bourgeois school, in order to promote the benefits of composting. The composting centre is actively used by Grade 5 students to compost organic waste from the kitchenClick here to see the video. In 2018, the grade 5 class continued to collect organic waste (vegetables) from the cafeteria kitchen. They started collecting organic waste from each class in the school.

Audio Tour of the Biodiversity Gardens

Follow the students of l'école Blanche-Bourgeois on a guided tour of the biodiversity gardens, Select the audio track that corresponds to the numbered area on the map. Have a great visit!
*Note that the audio tour is in French

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Video capsule

In October 2023, the PCSDG, with the help of students from Blanche-Bourgeois School in Cocagne, created an educational video capsule. This learning session, led by Jean-Pierre Privé, a physiologist, teaches seventh graders how to propagate cuttings in order to establish a nursery for indigenous plant species at the school. This nursery will provide a reserve of indigenous plants for future projects of the PCSDG, and of course, with the collaboration of the students.

Exploratory walk

In October 2023, we undertook an exploratory walk of the watershed with the 7th-grade class. We began the walk upstream of the watershed to reach the coast downstream, all while explaining the various characteristics of the terrain that can influence water quality.

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The project is made possible thanks to funding from Environment Canada's Eco Action Community Funding program, the New Brunswick Environmental Trust Fund and the New Brunswick Wildlife Trust Fund. The PCSDG wishes to thank the New Brunswick Environmental Network and the South East New Brunswick Forest Products Marketing Board for the donation of trees, as well as the District scolaire francophone Sud for supporting the project.