On the evening of Tuesday, June 12th, Humphrey Public School had a grand opening and dedication of the Humphrey Outdoor Learning Space. The Outdoor Space is in honour of Fynn Bywater who was a student at Humphrey who passed away in 2015 when he was in grade 1.
There is a handmade bench in a central location in the space with the following inscription: “This Space is Dedicated to Fynn Bywater, Who Generously Shared with Us His Love of Learning Through Outdoor Exploration and Play.”
The grand opening included a smudging of the space led by Dave Rice who is an Elder at Wasauksing First Nation on Parry Island. He also shared at the event, about some of the work he has been doing with the students of Humphrey including work around the anishinabe medicine wheel.
The hope is that the space will inspire a natural curiosity, strengthen relationships and foster deep learning experiences. Along with a large platform for students to gather, present and learn, there is natural seating in a circular shape around the stage, re-purposed cable spools for tables and stumps for chairs. The teachers of Humphrey shared that the space can be used for rich learning opportunities across the curriculum and with students from Kindergarten to grade 8.
The students of Humphrey have created peace poles with colourful, inspiring messages and symbols scattered throughout the space. And finally, you enter and exit the space through eight “pollinator and local food” raised cedar beds which the students planted under the guidance of the Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve.
There were many local businesses who made generous donations to make this space an inspiring place to learn. As Mr. Krause, the principal shared, it takes many people and community partners to help a project like this come to fruition.