School Programs

M. Goranson sponsorSponsor a Student Gardener
To play, learn, grow and contribute through gardening, Green our valley, slow climate change …

When you think about charitable contributions do you think food? Yet food sustainability is a critical issue for the valley. Over the past 2 years our roads have been cut off several times and grocery shelves emptied rapidly. Plus rising food costs are making nutritious meals challenging in many valley homes.

The Groundswell Student Gardener Program in partnership with Home Hardware is a hands on gardening program in the Mt Nelson Community Gardens. Students plan, plant, grow, care for and harvest throughout the growing season. This year we will be adding freezing and canning to their learning, ensuring they enjoy the benefits of their gardens nutrition throughout the winter months. There are 90 more students lined up wanting into the program this year….We need your help!

When you invest in Groundswell’s Student Gardeners Program you are Investing in a student’s…
• Mental and physical well being
• Ability to improve their own and their families diet
• Improved focus and attention, which in turn improves their grades
• Increased self-confidence
• Sense of belonging to a meaningful community
• Understanding the value of giving back to their community
• Valuing hard, physical work
• Improved immune system
• Reducing anxiety around climate change by giving them control to do something to improve it.

Double your impact – investing in this program gives you a double win as the additional produce grown is given to the Columbia Valley Food Bank. Last year they gave 500 kg of fresh produce. Donate today to invest in a student:

For further details or tax receipt info email us at:

Grow Healthier Kids & Community

insectsJA Laird students building insect houses to invite the friendly insects into their gardens. The students created their own respectful workplace agreement.

living soilJA Laird – Old Blue Truck Farm tour and working session as students learn what makes “living soil”.

Groundswell’s mission and purpose is to educate the public on Food Sustainability predominantly through education around Living Soil and Permaculture.
Groundswell partners with many organizations do provide these educational experiences. Amongst its partners are the College of the Rockies, CBEEN (Wild Voices for Kids), JA Laird Elementary, David Thompson High school.
In 2022 the Mt Nelson Community Garden opened 4 of its beds to grade 4/5 and 6/7 students who have prepared soil with compost, planned companion plantings, designed their garden, and will care for it throughout the summer – watering, fertilizing and harvesting as needed. The students will be donating the food from their beds to the Food Bank. The learning covers components of their biology, sociology, geology, and history classes. They will be harvesting seed in the autumn to help build up the resources of the new Seed Library at the Invermere Public Library.
The initiative teaches responsibility, team work, social contribution, resourcefulness and aids to mental health with the outdoor work in the garden.

Inquiries for school programs:

JA Laird students hand over first crop to the Food Bank past president Lawrie Mack.

Eating the fruit of their labours, students celebrate the coming summer with fresh salads.