Our mission is to bring children into the “outdoor classroom” where they connect with the earth and their community. Our vision can be summed up in a simple equation:
Thompson Community Association has partnered with the City of Richmond and the Richmond Schoolyard Society to deliver the first non-profit Nature Preschool in the City. The program takes place at the restored Edwardian Cottage in Terra Nova Rural Park, a 63 acre city-wide nature park in the Thompson area that features historic buildings, a community garden and a picnic area.
Northwest Culinary Academy of Vancouver supervises two plots at the Terra Nova Rural Park, and volunteers a certain number of hours every year to provide meals for schoolchildren through the Richmond Schoolyard Project. It is imperative that culinary schools expand their mission to the bigger picture. Teaching green and sustainable practices has now become fundamental. But raising food security issues is also a must, and not just paying lip service, but taking action. Chef Ian Lai, our Program Director, has devoted the last 7 years of his career bringing such issues into the vocabulary of Northwest students, as well as chefs around the Vancouver area.
Students in Richmond are learning about food production and sustainability, but as reporter Keanan Kipp found out, it's not in a conventional classroom.