The Blair Indigenous Garden was initially ideated as a way to connect community members with place. As there was an empty garden bed at the elementary school, it seemed like the perfect place to get the students at Blair, their families, and the community at large all involved. After speaking with a local Indigenous elder and the staff at Phoenix Perennials, plants were chosen for their healing properties and their historical presence in the area.
The garden was then planted by Blair students with the support of their families through watering in our very warm Autumn this year! Students then embarked on research projects on the indigenous plants, which have been connected to the garden with a QR code, so that community members can scan the QR code to find out information about the local plants and their healing properties. The biggest challenge of this project was timing. We wanted an Indigenous Elder to bless the garden in the early Fall but it was not possible. We have paid in advance to have an Elder come in the Spring when the plants are starting to awaken. At that point we will invite community members for a ceremony of sorts. The students and staff at Blair are excited to have this garden in their midst and have agreed to continue to care for it in the years to come. This was a very rewarding project that helped cement the teachings of care for place and others.