Gardening/yard work opportunities

Student volunteer hours forms:

Fall 2017: Yardwork Thursdays!

Start getting those volunteer hours this fall. Every Thursday, starting at 3:15 (unless it’s raining, of course!). Meet in the courtyard, outside the front doors. We’ll work until 4:30 or 5pm. If you can, bring a pair of garden gloves and a water bottle. Leave messages at: to say you’re coming. See you there!

2 Sept. 2017, 9 ’til noon — yardwork blitz!

This is an open invitation to the whole school community — students, staff, parents, the community at large — to come out and start getting the school gardens ready for the new year.

What to bring: garden gloves and hat, of course, as well as a garden fork, a yard waste bag, and that hand tool that looks like a claw (I’m sure it has a proper name but sometimes a description is a lot better). Label your tools. And don’t forget a water bottle.

Please sign up at, so I know you’re coming — and it also lets me get in touch in case things change. If you’re looking for volunteer hours, click on the link at the top of this page to print a sheet.

Explore the `ldh greening committee‘ pages on this website for background on the LDHSS garden beds.

Spring 2017: weekly yardwork sessions are back!

Every Thursday, yardwork sessions to earn community service hours (link to form at top of this page) will take place. Leave messages at: to say you’re coming. Meet at the front courtyard 3:15. Bring a hat, a pair of garden gloves, and a water bottle. See you there!

Weekly yardwork sessions, as of 22 Sept 2016!

Every Thursday after school, starting at 3:30pm. Meet out in the front courtyard area. Remember to bring your forms!  And no, we don’t work in the rain — it’s not like soccer!

Note: At this time (31 August) 2016, there are no more Saturday yardwork sessions planned. Instead, stay tuned to the daily announcements (via the LDHSS school website) for student opportunities after school, as well as announcements via this page.

Next yard work session: 27 AUGUST, 9 till noon

We will have another weeding session this coming Saturday, the 27th. And this time, we hope to finish off the weeding of the long bed (Bed 8) … as well as cleaning out the weeds from the paving stones in the front courtyard area.

As before, we’ll need garden forks and the hand tool that looks like a claw. Wear closed shoes, please. Bring a water bottle and hat; I’ll bring munchies … but you can bring stuff too 🙂  Tell your friends as well.

Send email to say you’re coming:

And there’s a new slide show (from work done on the 20th) to show where things now stand — no more brown bits on those shrubs!

Next yard work date: 20 AUGUST, 9 till noon

Well, we got rained out last Saturday (the 13th) but the rain was just soooo necessary that we can’t be too unhappy about it. And more forecast for tomorrow, the 17th.

So, this Saturday, the 20th, from 9 till noon, come on out to the school and we’ll finish off weeding the long bed (Bed 8) — we’ll need garden forks and the hand tool that looks like a claw.

We also will need people with clippers and loppers, to cut off all the dead growth on the shrubs in the bed.

What we won’t need to do is any watering … !

Send email to say you’re coming:

Bring a yard waste bag, a hat and garden gloves, if you can, and a water bottle. Notice that I’ve now included a link at the top of this page for the student volunteer hours sheet.

See the slide show (from work done on 6 August) for pictures on what’s left to do — including the brown bits on those shrubs!

 13 Aug., 10:15 UPDATE: today’s session is cancelled.

We will try again. Stay tuned — not yet sure if it’ll be already next Saturday, the 20th.

I would really really like to thank all the parents and students who did come out around 10am to see if we could do some work. Your generosity is always so appreciated.

So … now that I’ve discharged my duty in organising this morning, I must confess that I am soooo happy to see all this rain! So it’s still a good day 🙂

9:50 UPDATE:

Looks like the rain patches may be easing off. So — let’s go! See you at school around 10am and we’ll decide them. Oh — wear rubber boots or closed choses — flip-flops just won’t be a good idea this morning!


Good morning, everyone!

Much as I LOVE to see rain for the gardens, it’s not the best for gardenERS …

So — I think we should wait till 10am before heading to school.

Check this radar link:

and use the animation buttons to the bottom left of the image to see how much of the rain is moving into our area.

Currently, at 8:30, there’s a large green area (fairly heavy rainfall) to the west (left side of the image), near Bancroft. If it dissipates around 10, then come on out to the school. But if not, we’ll have to cancel the morning and try another Saturday.

Check this page for a new date, if we cancel.

Yard work mornings (9 till noon): 6 and 13 AUGUST

In case of rain: If it’s light/spotty showers, we’ll go ahead. If it’s pouring rain, then the event will be postponed till some time before the start of school.

13 August 2016

The second of two gardening Saturdays, we’ll be working on a shorter list of tasks this time. And as before, we’re inviting the whole school community — students, staff, parents, the community at large — to come out and help get some of the beds ready for school in September.

Please sign up at, so I know you’re coming — and it also lets me get in touch in case things change.

For this session, the best tools will be your garden gloves and hat, of course, as well as garden forks, a yard waste bag, and that hand tool that looks like a claw (I’m sure it has a proper name but sometimes a description is a lot better). Also bring a water bottle.

To see what we did last Saturday, here’s a status report/overview with a slideshow, and here’s a report on Bed 8 itself (a.k.a. `the Long Bed’).

1. Pruning

With the crab apple trees now taken care of, it’s time to bend over and prune all the dead branches from the many shrubs in the long bed. If you look at the slideshow, there are two photos showing the finished/unfinished halves of Bed 8 — all that brown stuff has to be pruned off. It might not leave much of the shrub, but at least it’ll leave the green bits!

The maple tree in the long bed has dead branches but they’re very high up — too high for us. But we’ll see what can be done, once school and staff are back.

Equipment: If you have clippers or a pair of loppers, that would help. Also bring a yard waste bag, if you can.

2. Watering

We’ll again be bringing out the two 100-ft hoses to water more beds. No tools required.

3. Weeding

Weeding continues into the untouched half of the long bed. As well, we’ll be forking up the weeded portion, to double check that the deeper weed roots have also been eliminated. Once we starting mixing in new soil and topping it all off with mulch, it’ll be too late to go after them.

Equipment: garden gloves and hat, garden fork, hand claw, yard waste bag.

For students seeking volunteer hours, this is the perfect opportunity to get some under your belt before classes start. Bring your current sheet — or get one from me, if you don’t have one.

Once again, there’ll be some snacks and a tent to shelter the weeders, as well as water containers and large pots for the weeders. Looking forward to seeing you!

6 August 2016

The first of two gardening Saturdays (next will be 13 August).

This is an open invitation to the whole school community — students, staff, parents, the community at large. As such, it’s a trial run — there’s no experienced team who know how to do this! Instead, we’re asking people to not only participate but also step in to help organize different aspects — become a team leader, in other words. If you want, build your own `team’ for one of the categories already outlined below.

Sign-up: Messages of support and suggestions can be sent to the same address.

IMPORTANT: Bring your own garden gloves and hats, and a water bottle. We hope to have refreshments but it’s likely to be a hot day, so ensure your hydration. Each person should bring at least one yard waste bag and, if possible, their own (labelled) tools.

Some tasks and `teams’ we think we’ll need — so far … !

1. Pruning

The crab apple trees (at least 16 of them) have dead branches, suckers at the base, and other
branches growing into one another. Some (along the path to the traffic circle) have already been taken care of, but the rest still need attention.

Team needs: let’s say 3-4 people, ideally with one who has some experience. 2-3 teams in all.

Equipment needs: a step-ladder, yard waste bags, loppers, and pruning clippers.

2. Watering

We have 2 50-ft hoses and perhaps also 2 100-ft hoses that need wrangling into position. Beyond their reach, we’ll need people to fill water jugs and carry water to outlying beds.

Team needs: let’s say 3-4 people; could be students, as there’s no gardening experience required. One team only.

Equipment needs: hoses are at school, sprayer ends and water jugs will be provided.

3. Weeding

The main focus will be the long bed in front of the Auditorium, along the front lane (designated Bed 8). This entails deep weeding, down to the roots, to ensure a good start to the long-term goal of a low-maintenance bed. The emphasis is on thoroughness, not speed …

Team needs: 2- to 3-person teams, one with a garden fork, one with a hand claw, and one to empty weed buckets into yard waste bags. Perhaps 5 or 6 teams.

Equipment needs per team: garden fork, hand claw, yard waste bags, large plant pots for the weeds.

4. Planting

There are some plants which need to be planted in a few specific spots, some of which may need to be weeded first.

Team needs: 2 people, one with planting experience. Two teams; one for the spot-plantings, one for a larger planting assignment. Will need to coordinate with the Watering team.

Equipment needs: plants will be provided, along with bone meal; bed-specific instructions will be passed on  to the team directly.

5. Refreshments

We may or may not have a budget for water or other liquids, and for food. If someone wants to organize food and drink, that would be TERRIFIC!

6. Logistics

As this is a terrific opportunity for students to earn their community service hours, we will need someone at a table with a check-in/check-out sheet just for students, along with a supply of spare community service forms. Both forms will be provided.

And finally … let’s see if we can organize something really great out of nothing — and then build on it, not only for the second event day (13 August) but any future events.

We’ll learn and improve as we go 🙂

Stay tuned to this page for updates.

30 June 2016

We’ll take a break from yard work over the long Canada Day weekend. Nothing yet confirmed for the week of 4-8 July.

28 June 2016

There will be a yard work session tomorrow morning, Wednesday 29 June, from 9 till 11am.

27 June 2016

There will be a yard work session tomorrow morning, 28 June, from 9 till 11am.

22 June 2016

[from the 17 June 2016 Raven’s Nest newsletter:]

This summer, there will be scheduled yard work sessions open to both students needing community service hours and adults — parents and members of the community at large. Generally, sessions will be Saturday mornings for 2-3 hours (depending on weather). Other times can be arranged, if there is sufficient interest. Especially helpful would be some people with experience doing deep weeding and bush/tree pruning, to pass along their expertise to newer gardeners. Send email with your availability to:

21 June 2016

For Grade 12 students needing volunteer hours [info distributed by Guidance]:

I am contacting you to let you know about an opportunity to earn hours of community involvement between now and next Thursday’s Commencement ceremony.

The opportunity involves helping the LDH Greening Committee work on the gardens at the front of the school.

Dates & Time Slots are available as follows:

Date AM PM
Friday, June 24 9-11 none
Saturday, June 25 9-11 none
Sunday, June 26 9-11 none
Monday, June 27 9-11 1-3
Tuesday, June 28 9-11 1-3
Wednesday, June 29 9-11 1-3

If you are interested in earning volunteer hours in any of these time slots, please register ahead of time by emailing the LDH Greening Committee at:

Give them your name, and let them know which time slot(s) you are committing to attend.  If you do not book ahead of time, there might not be anyone here to supervise your volunteer work – so please plan ahead!

When you come to school to volunteer for the Greening Committee, it is recommended that you bring –

  • water (and maybe a snack?)
  • a hat
  • gardening gloves
  • sunscreen
  • a community involvement sign off sheet
  • a hand rake or garden fork (if you have one at home)

Please keep in mind that the school is locked on weekends, so you won’t have access to bathrooms, etc.

I hope this helps!

Mrs. Yeaton

Guidance Counsellor

Longfields-Davidson Heights Secondary School

(613) 843-7722 x.2023


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