Terrace Ride School Grade 7 teacher Katelyn Dalton accepted a donation from ECHO Lacombe Association President Drayton Bussiere for $2,750. The money will go towards the schools new garden in honour of their retiring principal. Todd Colin Vaughan/Lacombe Express

ECHO Lacombe Association donates $2,750 to Terrace Ridge School

Donation helps build garden space honouring retiring principal

The Echo Lacombe Association recently teamed up with Terrace Ridge School to build Robin’s Nest — a brand new green space at the school in dedication to Terrace Ridge School Principal Robin Irvine, who is retiring this year.

“Our amazing principal Robin Irvine has had a prolonged battle with cancer and recently decided to retire,” Katelyn Dalton, Grade 7 teacher at Terrace Ridge, said. “Our students and staff wanted to dedicate a garden space in her honour”

The two-year quest to beautify the space after construction on a new portable left the space as a muddy construction site. The original small idea to re-beautify the space has expanded considerably.

”It started out fairly small and turned into a great, big project,” Dalton said. “The idea was to really bring the staff and the students together in this small space.

We had each student paint a rock and the idea of the rock was to share messages of kindness, love, hope or gratitude.”

“We ended up taking this project pretty big and turned into pouring cement concrete and actually putting the rocks right into the concrete. For us, that is literally cementing our culture into the school grounds.”

The recent idea to cement the rocks into the concrete was aided, on short notice by a $2,750 grant from ECHO.

“It is pretty cool to see it all come to life and without ECHO Lacombe, this project couldn’t have happened last minute for us. We are pretty grateful for their contribution,” Dalton said.

ECHO Lacombe Association President Drayton Bussiere said the organization is always looking to support this type of project.

“I say that a lot, but we really want to support projects that fit very nicely into our mandate. This one made a lot of sense and we have the opportunity here to beautify the school grounds and the community at the same time,” he said.

“We are also fortunate enough to help the school celebrate the life of of their principal.”

Being able to help community groups on short notice is part of the reason ECHO Lacombe Association was created.

“When we started the whole project grants, we wanted to make sure we are never a hindrance for people getting their projects finished. When we have an opportunity to take action quickly, we like to make sure we do that,” Bussiere said.

Dalton said being able to involve Terrace Ridge students was one of the highlights of this project.

“It really makes students take ownership of this area and when not a lot of teachers are around in the summer time, the hope is students will come with their families, point out their rock and use this space,” she said.


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