Edible Boreal Rain Garden

By the Students for the Students

Sometimes the best way forward is to step aside. This edible boreal edge garden at Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School is designed, prepped, installed and maintained by students.

The rain garden ‘pond’ with the stone path bridge is a fun feature.

With inspiration from their far North home communities, students selected plants to withstand the Thunder Bay Winter.

Pathways were top dressed with the beautiful unbelievably blue limestone from Fort William First Nation on ThunderBird Mountain. What an incredible blessing!

Beautiful day with Matt Kaskiw, fellow staff and students gathering stone for the garden.

The garden includes many medicinal, spiritual and edible plants.

Berries, bark and leaves

  • Wintergreen
  • Bunchberry
  • Bearberry
  • Cedar
  • Elderberry
  • Willow
  • Blueberry
  • Pearly Everlasting
  • Balsam Fir
  • Hawthorn
  • Strawberry
  • Serviceberry

Lots of other species and many artful details went into this garden as the young people from McDowell Lake and many other First Nations got their hands dirty in the chilly Fall weather.

The clouds rumble in quickly over Sleeping Giant Nanabijou onto the school grounds. There were many great moments where a warm cup of tea and bannock in the Elders lounge was a respite from the rain.

Smoke from the fire under the tipi kept the most soothing aroma ever present and made a great place to get to know staff and students.

Indeed, the whole experience was a gift.