Go Wild School Grants | WWF-Canada
© Marco Libretti

Schools are going wild with WWF-Canada

From coast to coast to coast, Canada is bursting with natural riches, diverse species and varied ecosystems that sustain us and provide benefits essential for a healthy life.

To show our appreciation, let’s take care of nature so it can continue taking care of us.

Schools and campuses play an important role in connecting students with nature and empowering them to make a difference for bees, butterflies, bats, fish and other wildlife in their communities through educational, hands-on projects.

This fall, we asked students, faculty, staff and, educators to share their ideas to help nature thrive for a chance to receive up to $500 to bring their ideas to life in the school community. 

From student-organized conservation summits, Indigenous medicine gardens, creek restorations, to campus milkweed meadows, the imaginative responses from coast to coast have inspired us. WWF-Canada is pleased to announce this year’s Go Wild School Grant recipients. Read more about our 2019-2020 grantees below.

Interested in going wild with us? Join Living Planet @ School and Living Planet @ Campus to receive updates on how you can apply next fall and other ways to help nature thrive in your school community.

© Court Whelan/Natural Habitat Adventures
  • More than $110,000 awarded to school at the elementary, secondary and to students at the post-secondary level

  • More than 200 school and campus projects have been implemented across Canada to stop plastic pollution, study wildlife and restore habitat for monarch butterflies, bees, bats, birds and more.

MEET OUR 2019/2020 GO WILD SCHOOL GRANT RECIPIENTS

© Ann Brokelman Photography

PRIMARY AND SECONDARY (GRADES K-12)

Cold Lake, AB, Art Smith Aviation Academy - Nature in the classroom
A school green space is an important place for students to connect with nature. By adding a growing tower in the classroom, these students will have the opportunity to learn about life cycles and pollination all year long.

Calgary, AB, Career and Technology Center - Canadian Rockies youth summit
Teachers will host a summit at Jasper National Park that will bring together students and youth that live near the Rocky Mountains to discuss conservation issues relevant in their local areas.

Strathmore, AB, Westmount Elementary - Bat boxes
Students will give bats new homes around the school while learning about their habitat, food sources and threats they face. By building these habitats, students will learn the importance of preserving local habitat and species.

Edmonton, AB, Delton School - Bringing birds to our school
Interested in helping wildlife, students will be building bird houses for their school property. After learning about local habitat and consulting a local biologist about bird species, students will design appropriate habitat and then observe the bird boxes throughout the year.

Port Coquitlam, BC, Westwood Elementary - Mason bee study
At Westwood Elementary, the teachers want to educate their students about the importance of pollinators and bees. Students will have the opportunity to create houses for bees, offering new habitat, and to study this species in their science class.

Surrey, BC, Walnut Road Elementary - Environment exploration kits
Outdoor learning and nature kits will help students explore nature and wildlife at school.

Vancouver, BC, Grandview Elementary - Growing Indigenous medicine
Grandview Elementary found the perfect place for reconciliation between nature, Indigenous students and the school community. This school will host Indigenous edible plants and pollinator-friendly habitat as well as exhibitions about history and ways for students to connect with their cultural roots.

Vancouver, BC, David Lloyd George Elementary - The bird garden
An outdoor bird garden with trees, local flowers, birdhouses and birdbaths will provide habitat to small mammals and birds while giving students the opportunity to connect with nature while observing these small creatures from the learning benches they are constructing.

Kelowna, BC, Studio9 Independent School of the Arts - Go batty for bat boxes
British Columbia’s local bat populations will get some assistance from students who will construct and distribute bat boxes and bee houses throughout the local community. Students will participate in research, building the boxes and houses, and field observations, learning how to improve this local habitat.

Kamloops, BC, South Kamloops Secondary School - Peterson Creek restoration
Students from South Kamloops Secondary School will learn valuable skills in scientific data collection when they research, assess and plan an ecosystem restoration and stewardship project for their local Peterson Creek Park.

Winnipeg, MB, Elmwood High - Monarch Butterfly restoration project
By raising caterpillars in the classroom and planting milkweed on school grounds, students will help create a positive impact for declining monarch butterfly populations. Students will become citizen scientists and stewards for this species, tagging and tracking the Monarch migration and educating their fellow students.

Winnipeg, MB, Institut Collegial Vincent Massey Collegiate - Indigenous circle garden
This school’s Indigenous Circle Club will work on creating a native plant legacy garden that follows a medicine wheel design. This unique space will provide students an area to experience the natural world and appreciate their ancestral past.

Winnipeg, MB, St. James Collegiate - Wildflower garden
After creating a successful native plant garden last year and seeing Monarch caterpillars and butterflies thrive in their schoolyard, the students from St. James Collegiate are expanding this garden, adding an Indigenous medicine garden.

Winnipeg, MB, R. F. Morrison - Earth life cycles
Student’s at R.F. Morrison are planning on expanding their current composting system to support their current native plant and Indigenous circle garden and raising caterpillars to release to their schoolyard. By raising pollinators and planting native species on school grounds, students will make a positive impact for butterfly migration.

Fredericton, NB, Gibson-Neill Memorial Elementary - Native garden
Students will research, design and plant a pollinator garden using native species. By creating this wild space for nature and building butterfly houses, students will be able to help support the local butterfly population and witness wildlife they normally wouldn’t see on school grounds.

Back Bay, NB, Back Bay Elementary School - Building our natural community
Back Bay Elementary school will create French and English signage for their outdoor classroom to showcase the native plant species alongside creating signs illustrating the plant names in local Peskotomuhkati language.

Hillsborough, NB, Caledonia Regional High School - Let's bring the forks back
By keeping single-use plastics such as disposable cutlery and plates out of the cafeteria and encouraging their school community to recognize the harmful impact plastic waste has on the environment, students will aim to reduce single-use plastics at school and make a lasting change within their school community through their educational campaign. 

Halifax, NS, Ecole St. Catherine's Elementary School - Native pollinator garden restoration and education
An overgrown garden will be transformed with native plants and grasses to create a rehabilitated garden habitat for monarch butterflies, bees, birds and other wildlife. By creating new signage to identify native species and educating the school community on the importance of pollinators, the students from Ecole St. Catherine's Elementary School will be able to release their class butterflies to a newly restored habitat.

Lower Sackville, NS, Sackville High School - Sackville High outdoor classroom
This project will restore a current outdoor classroom for learning and discovery through creating interactive signage about the nature in the area, planting pollinator species, and allowing the local community to access and enjoy the seating area near the local trail system. 

Middle Sackville, NS, Millwood High - Mi'kmaq-relevant green space creation
Ground juniper, golden thread, trembling aspen and alder will all be planted in the Mi'kmaq Green Space at Millwood High. Students from the school’s Green team will collaborate with the Indigenous students to research, plant and care for these culturally important plants.

Albert Bridge, NS, Riverside School - Knowledge Keeper's way
Seeing the need for a more visible connection to nature and their Indigenous culture at school, student’s at Riverside School will create an outdoor learning space with a trail and native plant garden to facilitate learning about traditional Mi’kmaq skills, language, spirituality, medicinal connections to the land, sustainability and reconciliation.

Kingsport, NS, West Kings High School - Natural poetry and art
Using art, storytelling and photography, students from West Kings High School will learn about how to engage with sustainability and conservation, fostering an appreciation for the natural world.

Yellowknife, NWT, Ecole St. Joseph School - Reducing waste in lunch boxes
Concerned about wildlife populations, students are going to learn about the impact of garbage and plastic waste on wildlife habitats.  Students will audit the waste in their lunches, identify and implement ways to reduce it, and educate fellow students and their families on alternatives to common single-use plastics in their own lives.

Caledon, ON, Caledon Central Public School - Addition to butterfly garden
Migrating monarch butterflies will have a garden to land and feast on thanks to Caledon Central PS. Students plan on expanding the existing pollinator garden to provide more habitat to the iconic butterfly and other species while also learning about habitat, breeding and conservation of butterflies.

Woodstock, ON, College Avenue Secondary School - Pollinator garden
Students from College Avenue Secondary School will be fully immersed in researching what native plant species will help bring their pollinator garden to life. After purchasing seeds at a local nursery and setting up informational signs, the whole school community can benefit from this natural space.

Toronto, ON, Highview Public School - Bring back the butterflies
This project will enhance students’ learning about our natural environment by beautifying the existing school garden with native plants and welcoming new wildlife to their schoolyard.

Brampton, ON, St. Marguerite d'Youville Secondary School - Stewards of the land
Using soil, mulch and various types of native perennials, students will create a beautiful garden that will enrich the surrounding landscape, restore the land and promote environmental stewardship.

Terrace Bay, ON, Lake Superior High School - Community wastewater and ecological health project
By collaborating with community members, local non-profits and environmental organizations, students from Lake Superior High School will develop new infrastructure to mitigate wastewater by planting a rain garden with local, native plants.

Hamilton, ON, Westmount Secondary School - Native insect hotel
Students will be researching and constructing a large "insect hotel" near one of the school’s existing pollinator gardens, serving as a nesting site for solitary bees and other native pollinating insects. The students and community at Westmount Secondary will observe the wildlife while learning about the importance of insects to biodiversity.

Toronto, ON, York Humber High School - Preservation and protection of York Humber's native habitat
York Humber High School students want to help transform the school’s front lawn into a garden where students and community members can connect with nature, learn about the importance of conservation and help enrich biodiversity by planting for pollinators.

Neyaashiinigmiing, ON, Kikendaasogamig (Chippewas of Nawash First Nation) Elementary School - Kikendaasogamig Indigenous plant garden
To recognize the importance of the Anishinaabe community, students will create signage for native plants of traditional importance to the community in the school’s native plant garden.

Sudbury, ON, St. Charles College - St. Charles College restoration project
Unused areas on school grounds will be returned to nature by planting native trees and perennial plants. This sanctuary for biodiversity will maximize students’ appreciation for nature and offer a green space for relaxation and learning.

Kearney, ON, Scarborough Outdoor Education School - Forest tech
This ambitious school plans to create an outdoor education app that can track animal sightings for biodiversity studies, plus track and submit benthic invertebrate studies that can help local conservation authorities.

Richmond Hill, ON, St. Anne Catholic Elementary School - Tree planting
How can schools help protect local habitats against the impacts of climate change? The answer from St. Anne’s student is trees! By planting more trees in the schoolyard with the help of community members, this project will increase natural habitat and biodiversity, enrich their outdoor classroom, and provide environmental learning opportunities for students.

Tilbury, ON, Tilbury District High School - Project natural garden
Tilbury District High School will convert an area of school property back to the wild by creating a native plant garden and adding bird houses, bat boxes and logs for native species of birds, bats, snakes and other insects.

Oshawa, ON, St. Christopher Catholic School - Nature mindfulness journal
The school’s Eco Team will become environmental stewards by documenting through photography, art and the written word their learnings and hands-on experiences in helping to protect nature. Through a series of presentations, newsletters, bulletins and other forms of communication, the Eco Team will share their stories with the school community.

Windsor, ON, Coronation Public School - Coronation butterfly garden
On a mission to make their school and neighbourhood a greener place, Coronation Public School’s students will plant a pollinator garden to attract bees, butterflies, and other insects. It will also add newly built green space in an urban area for the greater community to enjoy.

St. Catharines, ON, St. Catharines Collegiate Secondary School - Butterfly school
By creating a butterfly garden and pollinator houses, students will be learning hands-on about the butterfly lifecycle, the importance of pollinators in the ecosystem, and what they can do to help protect these important species.

St. Catharines, ON, DSBN Academy - Save the butterflies
Engaged students from DSBN Academy are on a mission to create a thriving pollinator garden. By learning to ID and propagate native plant species like milkweed through seed collection, the students will plan and build a garden to further their learning about biodiversity and the importance of pollinators.

Kitchener, ON, Grand River Collegiate - Heritage community gardens
Milkweed, joe pye weed, echinacea, dogwood, aster, wild bergamot, goldenrod and many more native perennials will be used to build a healthy corridor for wildlife.

Lakefield, ON, Lakefield District Public School - Ecology garden
A former plot of bare land will be transformed into an ecology learning garden full of various native species and insect habitat. This school will have the opportunity to learn about their local species and the importance of these plants for habitat.

Quyon, QC, Onslow Elementary School- Outdoor classroom and sanctuary
By creating art with collected recycled material, planning and planting appropriate native plants, and setting up benches for outdoor learning, students will learn first-hand about the importance of connecting to nature and how they can take care of our natural world for years to come.

North Bay, ON, École Secondaire Catholique Algonquin - Les fleurs et le compostage
Pollinators and other wildlife will be welcomed back to a local school habitat as students use the school’s compost and restore a bare space with local trees, shrubs and flowers.

Sant-Laurent, QC, École Des Grands-Êtres - Les architectes pour la nature
Eager to help wildlife, students will build bird feeders made from recycled materials they have at home. In the spring, students will observe their progress and see if the bird feeders are being used.

Drummondville, QC, École Jean-Raimbault - Harmonisation des bassins de rétentions à l'écosystème urbain
With the goal of revegetating water retention ponds to generate wildlife habitat, the students at École Jean-Raimbault will be collaborating with community members and the local municipality to learn how to successfully restore this aquatic habitat. By integrating water retention basins and adding nesting boxes, insect hotels, reptile and amphibian floating blocks, students will be making a difference in their local community.

Baie-Comeau, QC, École Secondaire Serge-Bouchard - Au boulot les ados
On a mission to become greener citizens, students will be researching and creating a pollinator garden to be further connected to the natural world.

Alma, QC, École Jean-Gauthier - Sauvons les chauves-souris
Students will give bats, a species with a declining population, new homes around the school while learning about their habitat, food sources, threats they face and how they can help rehabilitate the population.

Laval, QC, École Du Bois-joli - La reconstitution de notre boisé
École Du Bois-joli plans to create a green corridor between neighborhoods, starting at the school through the planting of trees and native plants for species habitat. Through these corridors, the school will be part of a greater network of green spaces to enrich wildlife in the community.

La Pêche, QC, École Secondaire des Lacs - Hôtel
On a mission to connect their school to nature, École Secondaire des Lacs will start by researching and creating the perfect pollinator garden. To further the school’s commitment, this class will create awareness about pollinators through presentations and workshops to inspire other students and the wider community.

Ottawa, ON, Académie Maryvale- Engagés pour la biodiversité
On a mission to increase biodiversity on their school grounds, Académie Maryvale will invite a biologist to host a workshop about endangered species, pollinators and invasive species. Students will take what they learned and transform a grassy area to an ecology garden with native plants and trees to attract local wildlife.

© Mohawk College

POST-SECONDARY SCHOOLS

Lindsay, ON, Sir Sandford Fleming College - Restoration of the Scots Pine plantation
Rhamnus cathartica, or common buckthorn, is an invasive plant that is spreading and outcompeting native species at Frost Campus. To restore this space to natural habitat, students will be removing invasive species from their plot of land and replacing and reseeding the area with local native plants. This new habitat will be ideal for bird species, insects and other mammals that rely on this area for food and shelter.

 Toronto, ON, York University - Pride of York
The Pride of York project aims to create a diverse set of student-run programs and initiatives that inspire high school students and community members to create local solutions to environmental issues and together achieve UN Sustainable Development Goals. By creating these educational workshops, students from York University will have the opportunity to develop their skills in teamwork, leadership, community engagement and more.

Thunder Bay, ON, Lakehead University - Composting for Lakehead garden
With a plan to reduce waste on campus and reduce the school’s carbon footprint, students from Lakehead University will implement a composting program that will supply soil for the campus garden. By taking on this task, students will be developing job skills in permaculture, stewardship, and project management.

Toronto, ON, Ryerson University - Plastic redirect
Taking on the difficult task of addressing the issue of plastic waste on campus, faculty and students will collaborate to remove three major plastics from the landfill waste stream to be recycled into new materials. Students will learn first-hand about the impact of plastic pollution on nature and take action to part with plastics on campus or in their own lives.

Guelph, ON, University of Guelph - Creating the milkweed meadow
Students from the University of Guelph will tackle the forgotten spaces on campus and re-develop them into diverse, resilient habitat for pollinators. By growing their own native species on campus, and building bird and insect houses, this area will be suitable for experiential learning and community engagement.

Peterborough, ON, Sir Sandford Fleming College - Birdhouse city extension
With previous funding from WWF-Canada, Fleming College’s Birdhouse City project launched on campus, providing food and refuge to small animals like birds and bats. Students couldn’t stop there! They plan on extending this project and adding even more homes for local species. 

Toronto, ON, Seneca College- Beehives expansion and signage
Newnham campus is already home to over 30 thriving beehives, and that’s just the start. While installing more bee homes to increase the pollinator population of the school, campus staff and students will engage and educate others on how these pollinators help their surrounding habitat and enhance biodiversity, with the aim of inspiring more students to get involved in supporting these pollinators.  

Ottawa, ON, Algonquin College - Sustainability Eco-Fest
Students at Algonquin College are hosting a Sustainability Eco-Fest to showcase guest speakers, local businesses and community groups who focus on environmental sustainability and support progressive green technologies and innovations. The goal of the event is to change the habits of the community by providing an opportunity for them to engage with concepts and ideas in a comprehensive, engaging, and socially interactive environment.

Learn about past go wild school grant recipients