Community outrage over Knowlton Academy theft
Message to thieves: Don’t mess with the kids
Knowing how important the Greenhouse and Garden Project at Knowlton Academy has become to the entire community, Kassandra Julien Charby and her husband Christopher generously jumped in to replace the 1,000-litre cistern that was stolen from the backyard of the school last week.
The Knowlton community has a strong message to those who had the audacity to steel a 1,000-litre cistern holding water from Knowlton Academy’s garden last week. The outcry of
distain by countless individuals within the area who are following the progress of his inclusive project spread like wildfire. And within 24 hours not only had someone come up with a replica of the stolen property, but another was offered as well.
The garden project that has been growing and flourishing since 2016 at Knowlton Academy has been embraced by everyone in the community who learns about it. It has become a platform for applied learning that is symbiotic to the culture of the rural community that is strongly sustained by agro and eco-tourism. Inclusive to all students, their families, and the wide community, it has become the centre of creativity, and enthusiastic giving and sharing. When word from one of the coordinators of the project, Jennifer Ruggins-muir, that there had been a theft people were aghast that someone would dare to steal from young children and inconvenience the numerous volunteers who have been supporting the project.
Ruggins-muir has a large following of friends on her Facebook network because she cleverly, frankly, and often humourously reports her day-to-day life experience with family and community.
She also uses it as a platform to keep the community up to date with the numerous projects and activities related to the school’s Greenhouse and Garden Project. On October 23 Ruggins-muir posted her shock over finding that when she had gone to the school in the late afternoon that day to check on the perennials that had been donated for the “fairy garden,” that they needed watering. “So I walked up the hill to turn on the hose and discovered one of our two water tanks had gone and the hose sliced in half! It takes a special kind of piece of (expletive) to steal from a children’s garden.” She went on to surmise that this could not have been the act of simply vandals because the tank holds a thousand litres of water and is huge. “It would have had to be drained then loaded by at least 2 people onto a pickup truck.” Her deduction was that the theft had to be calculated and needed at least a half hour to make it happen.
“It is bad enough to wreck or ruin an adult endeavour. This student garden is a teaching and learning tool. Not fair to pick on children,” bleated Carol Murray. “What is wrong with the people seriously! Why would anyone do this to the kids and all the volunteers who have worked so hard to make it happen?” questioned Melissa Elston.
After posting Monday about the school garden water tank being stolen Ruggins-muir was contacted by Kassandra Julien Charby and her husband Christopher, who delivered a new one today. “And Tasha-marie Chubbyy and her partner Justin Jacques who have one for us as well. So one tank was stolen but two new ones were given to us. The second tank needed picking up and it was Jessica Fleury who jumped in to say that the pick up had been taken care of.
Dianne Labbée of Foster wonders if her woods suffered a micro-burst with so many trees that have been uprooted. See more photos on page 8.