The Classroom Gardener is a collaborative project between Room To Play Educational Consulting and Victory Gardens Vancouver. Our customized consultations offer practical school garden expertise for non-profits, government agencies, community partners, school districts, and university faculties.
The Classroom Gardener offers researched and responsive whole system thinking with proven solutions for start up, maintenance, enhanced use, and seasonal frustrations associated with school garden use. We offer comprehensive and relevant pedagogical applications that support the daily practice of education professionals to ensure school gardens become beloved and shared spaces of cross-curricular learning within a school community.
Room to Play Consulting
Megan Zeni is the founder of Room to Play Consulting. Megan is a mother of three, with over 25 years of elementary classroom teaching experience. Megan works extensively with teachers across the province (and beyond) to support the use of school gardens as meaningful spaces of cross curricular learning. Megan is a PhD candidate at the University of British Columbia in the faculty of education. Her research interests include how elementary school teachers enact education outside the classroom.
Jenna Jaski represents Victory Gardens Vancouver, and has a BSc in Environmental Sciences. Jenna brings her passion for nature and learning to her role as Classroom Gardener project manager and lead facilitator. Through working with students, teachers, and workshop participants, Jenna is a beloved facilitator who is perfectly suited to share her knowledge and skills to support novice and experienced gardeners across the region.
Megan McLellan is a garden facilitator with Victory Gardens. While she holds a BA in Communications from SFU and attended BCIT for cabinet making, Megan’s experience and passion lies in commercial and nature-based photography. The intersection of nature, art, and collaboration is what piques her curiosity the most! Megan loves bringing her enthusiasm for the natural world to the students she engages with in the garden.
Tomas Burns is a lifelong gardener who is passionate about growing a greener planet for all to share and enjoy! He hopes to pass along his garden knowledge to the next generation as it was passed onto him. Tomas’ enthusiasm for learning, coupled with his patience and engaging curiosity make him a favourite facilitator among students!
The Classroom Gardener is pleased to partner with the Intergenerational Landed Learning program previously facilitated on the lands now known as UBC Farm. The pandemic disrupted many garden programs, and certainly travel to UBC farm was not possible. In order to continue supporting teachers and students with garden-based pedagogies, The Classroom Gardener will now be working in partnership with Landed Learning to ensure teachers and students can continue learning with and from their own school gardens. We are thrilled to have received NSERC funding that will remove barriers for access and improve opportunities for STEM education in these school communities.
Landed Learning at UBC farm has a rich history of growing and learning with students from across Vancouver, BC as well as supporting professional learning for pre and in-service teachers. You can read more about this history here.
The guiding principles of Landed Learning will continue to be supported with this new on-site school garden model!
Landed Learning Vision
We continue to envision a future where people live respectfully and act responsibly, with awareness that our actions impact the health of the land, the planet, and all who share it.
Landed Learning Mission
The Intergenerational Landed Learning Project is committed to improving the well-being of people, communities, and the planet through environmental education and research in partnership with The Classroom Gardener.
We enact our mission through:
- Communicating knowledge and ideas, and sharing stories and resources across generations and cultures
- Collaboration, and care for self, others, and the environment
- Feeling joy, expressing gratitude for, and celebrating community
We promote a love of garden based learning by:
- Learning through authentic problem solving and inquiry
- Learning through Intergenerational, relational, collaborative and cooperative experiences.
- Fostering holistic learning — practical, aesthetic, moral, social, emotional, physical, intellectual, embodied, cross-curricular
- Wondering, contemplating and playing
We work to advance human health by:
- Trying and enjoying the taste of fresh and whole foods
- Sharing in preparing and eating healthy food in community
- Celebrating diversity
- Challenging ourselves and supporting one another to try and accomplish new things
We care for the earth by:
- Sharing responsibility for sustaining the health of the land
- Respecting and showing reverence and gratitude for life and all living things
- Learning with and from nature as teacher