Durham Catholic District School Board

The Durham Catholic District School Board (DCDSB) and Foggy River Farm have been working together to co-create outdoor learning environments with students at several schools. Working from an experiential outdoor education approach, the team at Foggy River plays, designs and builds with students, all the while peaking curiosity so that students become the stewards of their own schoolyards.

Education Intentions

  • To distil student connection to the landscape through direct experience, hands-on projects, observation and exploration

  • To help students understand their role in their local ecosystem, which includes their classroom, their entire school, the schoolyard and the larger landscape

  • To foster a deep sense of stewardship through helping students design and build outdoor environments where they can explore their curiosity

  • To encourage self-awareness through the sharing of this curiosity and land-based action with others

Project Features

  • Small food forest/perennial gardens

  • Annual vegetable gardens

  • Cultural/spiritual gardens specific to each school

  • Student-led design processes, reflected through storytelling and maps, graphics and anecdotes

  • Constructed areas completed with mainly raw and local materials, where possible

FRF Role

  • Custom creation and development of student workshops

  • Creation of content for curriculum-based learning

  • Project Management (tracking budgets, material sourcing and sharing this process with the students)

  • Direct facilitation of workshops with the students

  • Responsible for the physical safety of the students during the construction phases

  • Lead the creation of safe and functional designs

Community Farm & Garden

The Nourish and Develop Foundation ‘TNDF’ brought in Foggy River to enhance the scope of the Maple Tree Community Garden through the development of a small ‘mother orchard’. This small collection of 75 fruit trees and berry shrubs will be used to propagate thousands of new plants, eventually transforming this 5 acre community farm into an edible oasis over the years to come.

Location: Cannington, Ontario

Design Intention

  • Design a small for the community farm that will serve as a foundation for future propagation and expansion


  • A unique collection of 75 cold-hardy, disease resistant trees and shrubs

FRF Design Role

  • Site Observations and Analysis
  • Mother Orchard Planting Plan
  • Community engagement and empowerment