Croydon’s new Mayor tended to his roots in more ways than one when he came to open St Giles’s School’s edible garden today.
Councillor Wayne Trakas-Lawlor got in some good spade work to bed down a tree planted to mark his visit to open a garden that will allow the school’s children, who have complex needs, to enjoy touching, cultivating and eating fresh produce that they have grown themselves.
The initiative at St Giles’s is funded under the Edible Playgrounds banner by City Hall and the charity Trees for Cities.
The Mayor’s tree was the only non-edible item in the vibrant new garden overlooking Purley Way Playing Fields in Waddon.
As well as tending to the roots of the newly planted tree, the Mayor returned to his own family roots, as the garden looks out over the Waddon estate where Trakas-Lawlor grew up as a child. The St Giles’s School swimming pool was where he learned to swim when he was a pupil at the nearby Regina Coeli Primary.
St Giles’s new playground offers a fun way of learning, and aims to instil healthy eating habits at an early age to help tackle obesity and food poverty, and create opportunities for pupils to learn more about nature in an engaging environment.
Trees for Cities will work with St Giles to make the best use of the garden in the school’s science curriculum.
Andrew Pelling, the Waddon ward councillor who was also at the opening event, said, “This is an excellent addition to the good facilities at this very special school.”
David Elliott, chief executive of Trees for Cities, said, “Our Edible Playground community is growing across the country, addressing several key areas of concern around children’s health. The community teaches pupils about nutrition, encourages physical activity, and shows that healthy food can be the easy choice, in and out of school. Edible Playgrounds are part of our overall commitment to green communities across London boroughs.”
St Giles is one of four Croydon schools to now have a chance to cultivate their playgrounds, the others being Rockmount Primary, Fairchildes Primary and Meridian High.
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