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Oct 5, 2015

9 min. read

On June 23, 2015, Elgin Court Public School in St. Thomas, Ontario revealed their revitalized school courtyard to the excited community members, students and the numerous volunteers that worked hard to make it all happen. After months of planning, weeks of installation and hundreds of volunteer hours, the project team celebrated with an official reveal of the space. The new space includes an outdoor classroom, fruit and vegetable planters, a quiet corner with tables, gardens and large trees for shade. Additionally, almost 2,200 tires worth of repurposed rubber was used in the space for the flooring and rubber mulch.

Empty school parking lot with cracked pavement and a covered walkway on a sunny day.

There were many special guests at the event. One was Ainsley, a grade 7 student at Elgin Court, who spoke about the space. She shared how excited she was about all the opportunities the formerly idle space was going to bring in the years to come. In fact, the 2015 graduating class was able to use the space the very next day for their grade 8 graduation reception. Additionally, Principal Jim Bowden arranged for each student to have the opportunity during their last week of classes to explore the new space.

Since being back in September, new and returning students are continuing to discover the new area and the teaching staff continues to integrate the space into their lesson plans.

The CAA RecycleDrive campaign, in partnership with the Ontario Tire Stewardship, made the project possible.

The recycling campaign utilized local CAA Approved Auto Repair Service (AARS) facilities to collect used tires, oil and batteries for responsible recycling – and the AARS facility that collected the most tires won the opportunity to donate a $20,000 revitalization package to a local school or play space. The Auto Guys, located in St. Thomas, won the prize by collecting 2,238 tires during the two-week campaign, and Elgin Court was the lucky recipient.

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