Students of Ladysmith Secondary have been working on putting up a shed at the Community Gardens at High Street as part of their class.

Ladysmith garden growing partnerships

Secondary students building new shed


Anyone involved in local projects know partnerships make this town work.


Same can be said for the new garden shed quickly taking form at the Community Gardens on High Street.


The new shed comes courtesy of the Community Garden, Ladysmith Family and Friends and the construction students at Ladysmith Secondary.


Jacquie Neligan, with LAFF, said the organization has been a part of the Community Garden since the beginning.


LAFF rents a plot and has been actively gardening since.


“It’s been so great for getting multi-generational activities going at the garden,” said Neligan, adding plots have sparked a new passion for some, who are now gardening with their kids at home.


“Lots of gardens are popping up at home.”


When it comes to the garden shed project, LAFF was approached by two students, Spencer Armitage and Cole McGinn, whose job it was to interview a non-profit organization in town and report on  their impact. The report was well-received and life-sciences program sponsor, the Toscana Foundation, donated $5,000 to LAFF.


Being part of the Community Garden Society, Neligan knew they needed a shed.


Neligan said they wanted to give back to the high school as well and used the students in the drafting class to draw the blueprints and the construction students to build it.


LAFF has also brought in culinary students to cook and have had the improv team do workshops.


Brad Brawner, who teaches the students in the carpentry and construction class, said the garden shed was supposed to be their main project this year, but the students also had the chance to work on the new skatepark. The first year, the students built a house.


Brawner said he wanted the students to hand-cut the roof to experience everything involved. Students also learned how to use and read a framing square as well as other tools.


The skills students learn in his class are useful for life said Brawner.


“Most people live in a house … they have the skills and the knowledge for any kind of maintenance in a home.”


The garden shed took around three weeks.


Brawner said they try to fit in as much as they can within the hour time frame, safety meetings and walks to and from the school eat away at the time on site.


“What I feel is important is to have the kids work in the community,” said Brawner. “Community projects are what we’re looking for.”


Brawner praised LAFF for donating the $2,000 for the shed, noting that community help is what makes the program work.


“Without help from the community, this program would not be functioning.”


As for the garden shed itself, Brawner said he has been hearing a lot of compliments around town.


Anyone with a suggestion for a new community project can call Brawner at LSS, 250-245-3043.

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