Vernon – The Last of the Okanagan

We said goodbye to Kelowna with a bang. Mike (our host) and his hockey team won the BC men’s league championships! Yes! We joined them in celebration with pizza, beer, and hours of games. The next morning we visited a class at Glenmore PS and were excited to talk about some of the cool initiatives we visited over the previous days and do an exciting workshop with the kids. Thanks for having us in!

We also had an executive decision to make about which route to take when cycling to Vernon that afternoon. Thankfully we chose the old highway along the waterfront and were graced by stunning views of the Okanagan. Lakes, vineyards, cottages in the woods and sunshine. We also climbed another giant mountain! I had to walk to bike and cheer Mischa on has be climbed it! Yes! We made it to the top, panting, but were excited that we got to cruise into Vernon overlooking the city. We enjoyed a lovely picnic on the waterfront and tucked ourselves into a campsite for the night that was close to Vernon SS, where we spent the following day.

Vernon SS is what I imagine when I think ‘an incredible high school.’ The school has big classrooms, lots of windows, inviting posters, murals and the food is incredible. They are part of the ‘Take a Bite of BC’ school program and have been working for the last 6 years on their ‘Go Green Vernon SS’ project. The Take a Bite of BC program is a government initiative to get students eating local produce. Every month the school gets a large donation of local produce. The students know what is in season and their caf is filled with fresh produce. The exciting thing is that it is made by the kids! In class! Vernon SS has a ‘cafeteria class’ where students get credit for being in the kitchen, create meal plans, cook and sell the food to the school for inexpensive prices. They also are working towards installing a massive greenhouse and school-wide composting program. Talking to the dreamer and driver behind this project, Sandy Slizack, she emphasized the importance of bringing students into the kitchen and it is her mission to ‘green’ Vernon SS as much as possible. We were fortunate to run workshops all afternoon with different classrooms and got to try some of the delicious caf. food at lunch. Thanks for having us in!

 

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