More than just a verdant welcome to everyone making their way into the Prep School, the Learning Garden is an invaluable teaching tool.
Boys are given the chance to get their hands dirty by planting and growing vegetables, herbs and flowers in the spring and learning plant biology and ecosystem science along the way. Vegetables are harvested and eaten by members of the UCC community and some are sold during Association Day.
“The sun is shining. Why can’t we be outdoors?” That was a common complaint heard in the spring and fall months from our boys. With the stone seating installed in early March, the Manget Outdoor Classroom has seldom been empty since.
Our new outdoor classroom was completed in 2010. It was the culmination of months of work designing, constructing and landscaping. Thanks to the vision of benefactors Joe Manget and Christina Mauro-Manget, the boys now have a beautiful outdoor space in which to learn, study and just reflect in the sunshine.
The space is available to both Prep and Upper Schools, and for boys to eat lunch and spend time studying in this functional learning environment. Designed to reflect the College’s green ethos, all its elements are natural, local and native to the surrounding area. A debt of gratitude is owed not only to the Manget family but also to all faculty who sat as part of the original design charette, and especially to our grounds crew who worked tirelessly to see the classroom to completion. Located right outside the Student Centre, the classroom is another of UCC’s state-of-the-art facilities and will be used and enjoyed by our students for years to come.
The “Where The Wild Things Are” garden behind Admission House and west of the sports bubble officially opened in June 2011. It was built by students from 14 different classes in the Prep and Upper Schools, with assistance from staff members, to create a natural forested play and environmental learning area.
Students came up with the idea to convert the former dead space, which was overrun with weeds and was of virtually no use on the campus. Designs were made, land was cleared, weeds were pulled, trees were planted and the space – named after Maurice Sendak’s popular children’s book – came to life. Tree forts made from reclaimed wood were built within the area, including one shaped like a boat that was carved from logs by a chainsaw sculptor, along with an armchair and couch.
A berm was created as a noise barrier from the street and special seeds and plants were carefully selected to attract birds and butterflies, providing a preserve to birdwatch, explore and learn.