Toronto, Ontario – Representatives of Toyota Canada visited a Toronto school this week as part of the company’s sponsorship of the Learning Grounds program, which helps Canadian schools transform barren school grounds into healthy, natural and creative outdoor classrooms.

Bedford Park Public School in Toronto is one of 1,500 Canadian schools transformed through the assistance of the Toyota Evergreen Learning Grounds since 1993. Toyota Canada is title sponsor of the Learning Grounds program.

At the school, students and Toyota representatives planted herbs, flowers and vegetables, along with the school’s environment club, Eco Kids Squad.

“Toyota has a long history of giving to the communities in which it works, lives and plays, and with the support of the Toyota Evergreen Learning Grounds grants and the involvement of Toyota dealers, projects like this one at Bedford Park Public School offers students hands-on learning about their environment,” said Sandy Di Felice, Toyota’s director of external affairs. “Across Canada, schools are empowered by the program and supporting school ground greening projects gives students an understanding of and appreciation for nature that stays with them as they grow.”

Projects include planting trees for shaded study areas, habitat creation or restoration for observation and learning, and food, flower and herb gardens. The goal is to create hands-on opportunities for students to learn about nature’s complexity. Bedford Park’s project includes dozens of shade trees, 21 garden beds and several natural areas. Students plant and harvest herbs and some vegetables, and Ranleigh Rascals Daycare, which shares the school grounds, helps water the gardens during the summer. Community members and families also share in the tasks to ensure the garden’s survival through hot summer months.

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