March 1, 2012, Mississauga, ON –The students
at St. Alfred Catholic School in Mississauga have some new classmates
– Red Wriggler worms. The worms are part of a vermiculture
program that will help the school to reduce organic waste. Thanks
to funding from TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, each
classroom now contains composting bins containing Red Wiggler
“The vermiculture program at St. Alfred Catholic School
is one of many locally funded vermiculture programs that TD Friends
of the Environment Foundation is proud to be supporting throughout
the country,” said Mary Desjardins, Executive Director,
TD Friends of the Environment Foundation. “Seeing projects
that engage youth in their local environments is always exciting
and it’s encouraging to see students excited about reducing
waste in their schools.”
Worm composting, or vermicomposting, is a process that uses worms
to digest waste such as food scraps. The end product, known as
worm castings, is an excellent fertilizer for soil. Bins containing
water, worms and bedding material, such as leaves, shredded newspaper
and egg cartons, are filled once or twice a week with worm food
– for example, fruit and vegetable peels, tea bags, brown
paper towels and other organic material.
St. Alfred’s students will have a real-life, year-long
education in worm composting as the worms eat everything in the
bins. The castings left over will be harvested by the students
and added to soil used in gardens and planters.
“We’re excited to work with TD Friends of the Environment
on this exciting, green initiative,” said St. Alfred Catholic
School Principal Deanna Tucciarone. “This project gives
our students hands-on opportunities to learn invaluable lessons
on composting and being good stewards of our environment through
responsible management of resources.”
On Tuesday, Cathy Nesbitt, a vermicomposting expert and founder
of Cathy’s Crawly Composters, hosted workshops at the school
to teach students about the process. According to Nesbitt, St.
Alfred is one of a growing number of schools using worms to teach
students about composting and waste diversion.
“Vermicomposting is a highly effective solution to the
problem of organic waste because it allows worms to do what they
do: turn garbage into precious fertilizer,” said Nesbitt.
“With the introduction of municipal green bin and compost
bin programs, people are becoming more knowledgeable about how
to reduce the amount of waste being sent to landfills. As a result,
worms will continue to play an increasing role in how we interact
with our environment,”
About St. Alfred School
St. Alfred School is a K-8 Catholic elementary school with an
enrolment of 460 students, located at 3341 Havenwood Drive, Mississauga.
St. Alfred is part of the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School
Board, one of the largest and most diverse school boards in Ontario.
The school’s motto is “Every Child, A Promise.”
Located in a high density, diverse neighbourhood, St. Alfred has
one of the highest ratios of ESL students in the board. St. Alfred
is a caring community that stresses tolerance and acceptance of
others, commitment to the Catholic faith and high academic standards.
About TD Friends of the Environment Foundation (TD FEF)
Since 1990, TD FEF has provided more than $57 million in funding
to more than 20,000 grassroots environment and wildlife projects
across Canada. In 2011, TD FEF provided more than $3.6 million
in support of 1,058 projects. Thousands of donors give to TD FEF
on a monthly basis and TD Bank Group contributes in excess of
$1 million annually. TD also covers the management costs of running
TD FEF, which guarantees 100 per cent of every dollar donated
goes directly to funding environment and wildlife projects in
the community where the donation was made. For more information
on how to donate and get involved in your community, visit www.tdfef.com.
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