Avery Williams gardens at Artemis Place, an alternative school offering outdoor programming for young women outside the public school system. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)

Outdoor garden a “healing space,” for young women.

An alternative school offering more than education for students outside of public schools.

Avery Williams holds her cupped hands out, they are filled with worms

Covered in dirt, her gloved hands have been digging, shovelling and spreading fertilizer over a small garden outside Artemis Place. In fact, today’s classroom at the alternative school supporting young women, trades textbooks for shovels – and many of their students are covered in dirt.

“I have a really bad anxiety disorder and the mainstream schools are too much for me,” said Artemis Place student Eva Rainshadow. “So this is a really helpful program here.”

Growing Schools, a program offered in partnership with LifeCycles, provides outdoor learning and food sustainability classes at the alternative school. Here young women, trans youth, and or women who are pregnant or parenting can get support from on-site daycare while they attend, to community food programs to self-paced learning. Avery Williams, a student at the school said the program has had a positive effect on her inside and outside the classroom.

“I love that we get to grow stuff that we can eat,”she said, “It’s a great place to just come outside and relax, because school sometimes can be stressful… It’s good to just come outside, sit on the bench and eat some strawberries.”

The partnership has seeded opportunities for the students, some who don’t always have an opportunity to eat healthy food, or eat from a garden at all, to get their hands dirty and their stomachs full. The school also offers a stocked kitchen so students can cook the food they grow, and eat even if they don’t have food at home.

RELATED: Artemis Place offers opportunities for young mothers

“We have a robust food program and community lunch here. In combination I wanted it to be a therapeutic space and a place where we could grow our own food,” said Daya Moss, a teacher at Artemis Place. “I really believe strongly in the healing power of nature and engagement with nature.”

Just Posted

Victoria painter splashes some colour on a dreary situation

Six-week long James Bay construction project gives Teresa Waclawik an impromptu canvas

B.C. Transit to reduce service for spring

Route changes come in to effect April 9

Man arrested, charged in connection with stabbing at Langford Lanes

Twenty-year-old Austin Bonner has been charged with aggravated assault

U-Bicycle plans to ride into Esquimalt

Dockless bike share service launched last fall in Victoria, aims to spread across CRD

Saanich Police speed reader board stolen

Traffic safety device taken from the 4700 block of Interurban Road

Ottawa proposes restricted pot labels, packages

Packaging will include red stop sign with marijuana leaf and ‘THC’

City of Victoria seeks artists to contribute to upcoming public exhibitions

Submissions for Commercial Alley gallery, bus shelter project due by April 9

Alberta budget plans for Trans Mountain expansion

Finance Minister Joe Ceci says expected revenues will be factored into budget forecasts

Plane filled with smoke lands at Nanaimo Airport

WestJet flight came in from Vancouver

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of March 20

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Rescued Comox canoer credits those ‘at the right place, at the right time’

James Milne was rescued in a hypothermic state Sunday near Goose Spit

Proposed gun bill attacked by gun owners and shooting victims

The federal government tabled the bill today in order to tighten the sale and tracking of firearms

New anti-radicalization centre in the works for B.C.

Centre aims to help ‘vulnerable individuals of the path to radicalization’ before they turn to crime

Most Read