PRPA Helps Expand Outdoor and Indigenous Learning Opportunities at Conrad Elementary School 


PRPA Helps Expand Outdoor and Indigenous Learning Opportunities at Conrad Elementary School 

June 19, 2023

The students and staff at Conrad Elementary School have a new space where they can engage with the environment and experience culture hands-on through learning and sharing traditional First Nations teachings and practices. An outdoor classroom and garden were developed on the school grounds through a partnership between the Prince Rupert Port Authority’s Community Investment Fund and School District 52, creating a new place for knowledge sharing between generations.

Officially named ‘Syndooynm Na Ḵ’oom’ or ‘Garden of Hope’, the school’s new amenities, located on the traditional lands of the Sm’algyax speaking Ts’msyen People, are dedicated to Truth and Reconciliation. The outdoor classroom consists of a fully fenced garden with raised planter boxes, wooden picnic tables, seating, water tables, a composting station and a shed to store gardening tools. It is designed to create a safe place where students and educators can connect with the outdoors while exploring the changing seasons through an Indigenous cultural lens. With support from School District 52’s Aboriginal Education Department and the involvement of local elders who visit Conrad Elementary School as part of ongoing programs, the school aims to expand the offerings for students and others living in the surrounding community by using the new space for a wide range of activities and lessons.  

“Educators at Conrad Elementary School strive to create a diverse and inclusive learning environment that meets the needs of all learners,” said Kerri Levelton, current Principal of Prince Rupert Middle School who was Principal at Conrad Elementary School at the time of the project’s development. “We thank PRPA’s Community Investment Fund for helping develop this outdoor garden and classroom space that supports that vision and greatly enhances the ways students develop a love of learning by providing a place that is hands-on and authentic.”

“PRPA understands that helping to build a strong community means contributing to the health, vitality, and prosperity of our region and we are proud to see our Community Investment Fund support local projects like this one that align with those core values,” said Shaun Stevenson, President and CEO, Prince Rupert Port Authority. “We commend everyone who contributed to making this unique learning opportunity a reality.”

The total cost for construction was $84,000, with PRPA’s Community Investment Fund contributing $42,000. 

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