Evergreen and BMO Partner to Launch Video Series Telling the School Ground Greening Story

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Video Series Highlighting How Children and Schools Are Building a Healthy Place to Learn and Play

It’s important that children care for nature; for their future as well as everybody else’s. The more they know about nature, the better off we’re all going to be.

Evergreen, a national not-for-profit that inspires action to green cities, with support from BMO Bank of Montreal, has developed a series of videos that highlights how schools across Canada are greening their school grounds to create a healthy place to learn and play.

Produced by Radke Films, a leading global production company, the three short videos feature the students, staff and communities involved in greening their own school grounds and enhancing their learning experience in the process.

“These videos will inspire all Canadians,” says Cam Collyer, Director of Children’s Programs at Evergreen. “They capture a depth of feeling from students and staff that reflect the range of benefits that come when communities work together to help students connect with nature. These greening projects show how powerful and lasting the experience can be when students make hands-on improvements to their communities. BMO’s support enables Evergreen to connect children with nature during their formative school years.”

Giving teachers, students, custodians and neighbours a platform to tell their unique story will inspire others to take action in their community:

Student – “Our radishes are bigger than the ones at the supermarket.”
Neighbour – “I’ve lived across from the school for 35 years, and the last three years have been the best.”
Custodian – “It’s important that children care for nature; for their future as well as everybody else’s. The more they know about nature, the better off we’re all going to be.”
Teacher – “We live in a pretty intense and industrialized space. We try to create a little bit of calm in all that.”

“We’re pleased to support Evergreen’s school ground greening program, which aligns well with BMO’s commitment to creating a better quality of life in the communities where we live and work — an issue that is important to our customers and Canadians on the whole,” said Andrew Auerbach, Senior Vice President, Greater Toronto Division, BMO Bank of Montreal.

In 2012, BMO launched eStatements, giving customers the option to securely view and store their BMO bank, credit card and line of credit statements online. To encourage customers to help make a difference and support the greening of school grounds across Canada, BMO made a $2 donation to Evergreen for every customer who signed up for eStatements, and as a result made a total contribution of $250,000.

Featured Schools:
Mitchell Elementary School
Located in an industrialized area of Richmond, BC, Mitchell Elementary School food garden provides an oasis for young minds to grow. The creation of a food garden on the school grounds has brought the classroom outside and given students like Aaron an opportunity to get their hands in the dirt and learn about where food comes from.

Southridge Elementary School
Located in Kitchener, Ontario, Southridge Elementary School has been working to transform their barren school grounds from hard paved surfaces into a greener space that provides shaded outdoor classroom areas for students to learn outside. With the support of Mr. Miller, Southridge’s custodian, students are learning about the importance and benefits of trees, as well as how to care for them with Mr. Miller’s innovative watering wagon.

École Burton Ettinger School
Located in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Burton Ettinger School is well on their way to transforming their school grounds into a thriving outdoor learning space where students can connect with nature. The school is completing the next stages of their work through a series of greening days, where the local community comes together to improve the school grounds for generations to come.

Click for a Coast to Coast summary and to watch the school videos.

About Evergreen: Evergreen is a national not-for-profit that inspires action to green cities. By deepening the connection between people and nature, and empowering Canadians to take a hands-on approach to their urban environments, Evergreen is improving the health of our cities—now and for the future. In 2012, Evergreen, with the support of its various donors and sponsors, provided more than $905,000 in grants to community and school greening projects. For more information, visit http://www.evergreen.ca.

About BMO Financial Group: Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified North American financial services organization. With total assets of $549 billion as at July 31, 2013, and more than 46,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions.

About Radke Films: Established in 1992, the world class directors and production services agency lent their support to the making of these videos.

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