|Central Public School|
We are marvelling at the wonders of the extensive woodland garden spread across the property, and it’s still the middle of winter! "Elke's Garden," as the school children call it.
Elke tells me that years ago, the school Board planned to sell the property and so they let it go wild. Homeless people regularly camped out in the pines (and sometimes still do--but she makes sure they don't trample the ferns).
Happily, Elke and other community members worked together to have this stately school designated as a historical building. Today, it continues to receive new Canadians from across the world.
She herself has a long history with the school; her own son attended Central in the 70s and she frequently volunteered as a reading buddy in the classroom.
Back then Elke was new to Canada, hailing from Germany, her husband from India. She was homesick. "But I had to raise a Canadian! It was only once I started working in the garden at my house that I became a true Canadian."