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École St. Norbert Immersion
News Item

ESNI Community Outdoor Classroom

May 26, 2017


See link below for ICI Radio Canada report…  If the link doesn't work you can access the video on the ICI Manitoba facebook page.

Councillor Janice Lukes’ write up

Our project that spanned from Fall 2010 when we visited St Avila School and did the surveys with the ESNI staff, parents and students to summer 2017.  Many years of planning, meetings, applying for grants and signing contracts, writing proposals, acquiring permits, invigilating our stock, volunteering, taking pictures, making phone calls, texting, drawing site plans and posters, writing thank you letters, and I'm probably missing a lot to this list … although it was worth it… over $280,000 of value invested in a common community area where our kids get to grow and learn on a daily basis.

PAC Committe - Community Outdoor Classroom.png

Now it's time to celebrate!  Our Grand Opening will take place at 2pm on Monday June 19th.  We have invited guests and ask that you help us spread the word.

ESNI Parent Council saw a need for an improved play area for students, staff and local community members.  A plan was put together to make it safer, environmentally friendly, educational, fun and inviting. This schoolyard will provide a place to learn about Manitoba's plants and animals.

The play structure area was then filled with 140 yards of certified CSA mulch (mandated by the Seine River School Division).

With the help of volunteers and Sarna Excavation Ltd., we removed the pea stone gravel from the play structure area because it was causing a slip-and-fall hazard with the perimeter sidewalk.  The gravel in the swings area was also relocated after the beams bordering the area were removed.

The pea stone gravel was relocated to create a base in the new swale and the wooden beams were saved for Phase II.

The play structure area was then filled with 140 yards of certified CSA mulch (mandated by the Seine River School Division).

A few trees were planted and caged to protect them from curious wildlife.

Phase II – Environmental TLC

Parent donations from the Glenlea Greenhouse fundraiser and student volunteers created our very own butterfly garden located at the front of our play structure area.

Volunteers built a boardwalk crossing the new raingarden.  The wooden beams from the swings area were used to frame the structure.

Rocks and boulders were added as features and to create a new border, and mulch was added to various beds.  Numerous volunteers gathered in October 2015 to plant trees, shrubs, native plants, and flowers.  New soil and mulch was spread to complete Phase II.

Phase III – New Play structures & Playground Equipment

7 square pedestal tables plus 1 square accessible pedestal table to accommodate a wheelchair for the Outdoor Classroom area

Musical Instruments

  • Flying Amadinda (xylophone)
  • 7 Alum Chimes with mallets

    Play Structures
  • Classic Rock & Rope Climber
  • Apollo Climber with floor
  • Triple U-Swing
  • Buddy Benches


    To the Volunteers and Funders of our project…
  • ESNI Parents, Teachers, and Staff,
  • Community members – Albert Lepage, Dave Gaudreau,
  • SRSD Administration office,
  • Western Economic Diversification program – Canada 150 Grant,
  • City of Winnipeg – Community Incentive Grant Program,
  • Winnipeg Community Infrastructure Program,
  • Manitoba Hydro Forest Enhancement Program,
  • Community Places Program,
  • Ecotones (Sam Braun),
  • TD Friends of the Environment Foundation,
  • BSI (Barnabe & Saurette Insurance) – Because We Care grant,
  • Lake Winnipeg Foundation – Stewardship, Research and Education Grants Program,
  • RBC (Royal Bank of Canada) Day of Service grant (Pembina & Kirkbridge location),
  • Pickseed – Terry Scott,
  • Talbot & Associates,
  • St Norbert private donations,
  • SNIAC (St Norbert Immersion Advisory Council).

    And to the companies that have gone over and above their business etiquette to help us with the success of this project:
  • Ecotones,
  • Sarna Excavation Ltd.,
  • Lacoste Garden Centre,
  • Jensens Nursery,
  • C&S Country Gardens,
  • Pickseed (grass seed),
  • South End Soils (soil and mulch),
  • Lawrence Hadiken (rocks),
  • CSNC Alternative Program - Simon Laplante (sandboxes),
  • Blue Imp (playground equipment),
  • Nelson Rusk (playground installation).


    …We Thank you!
    The ESNI Community Outdoor Classroom Committee