June 15, 2008
When the staff and parent council at École Mère-Élisabeth-Bruyere in Waterloo looked for funds to plant three or four trees in their barren school yard, they didn’t think that within a year, the school would receive 26 trees with work underway on a plan to further green the school yard. With the help of the Waterloo chapter of LO and Toyota Evergreen’s Learning Grounds Program, the school turned a $2,000 grant into a selection of caliper trees and some armour stone seating, which was installed on May 14.
Before its makeover, the school’s playground had only three shade trees and a barren, patchy playing field. Members of the Waterloo chapter planted groups of trees and installed fencing around each to protect them from rough play.
Dennis Wendland of Toyota Evergreen worked with the teachers and parent council to ensure the new plants would receive correct care. Each classroom has adopted a tree until the end of June, and families have signed up to make sure the trees are watered during the summer months. Dennis praised Waterloo Chapter members for stepping in to help the school’s plan become reality and said they embodied the saying, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”
The students at École Mère-Élisabeth-Bruyere already have a horticultural champion in their grade three teacher, who uses the school’s greenhouse in her lessons and teaches her students to plant and care for living things.
Thanks to the following members of the Waterloo chapter for their support of this project: Adams Landscape Supply, All Green Tire Service, Kerr + Kerr Landscaping, Native Plant Source, Sheridan Nurseries, Snider Turf and Landscape Care, TNT Property Maintenance and Wright Landscape Services.

Caption: Dennis Wendland celebrates the improved school grounds with students and teachers.