Prince Edward Island National Park of Canada

Parks Canada celebrates student achievement at École Saint-Augustin with ArtSmarts PEI

Parks Canada would like to congratulate the students and staff of École Saint-Augustin in Rustico, along with artist Daniel Cyr and ArtsSmarts PEI, on the creation of “Nos racines communes, la forêt acadienne au Centre acadien Grand-Rustico,” an incredible Parks Canada Through the Arts Project created through an agreement between Parks Canada and ArtsSmarts PEI. This project provided opportunities for students to learn more about Parks Canada places in PEI, protecting species at risk and conserving heritage places through presentations, videos, researching relevant background information and on site visits.

“This is an extraordinary project with important links to natural heritage conservation and the restoration of the Acadian forest – two very important topics for Parks Canada,” said Karen Jans, PEI Field Unit Superintendent. “It’s wonderful that Parks Canada was able to work with students in Rustico who are doing similar things in their community to protect their heritage, that Parks Canada is doing to restore the Acadian forest in PEI National Park for the benefit of all Canadians.”

Last fall students from kindergarten to grade 7 at École Saint-Augustin began studies on the Acadian forest and selected and planted trees along a new trail on the school grounds. Through this multi-faceted, collaborative ArtsSmarts project students worked with artist Daniel Cyr and Parks Canada to continue their study of the Acadian forest. The entire school took part in the project: kindergarten students created a wooden mural depicting the tree species that are planted on the trail; students from grades 1 to 4 created a map of the Acadian forest that will be installed on the grounds of the school; Grade 5 and 6 students created identification tiles out of plaster of Paris for each of the 13 species of trees; and, students in grade 7 created a stained glass piece representative of the Acadian forest tree species found on the trail. Some of the artwork will be displayed at the Greenwich Interpretation Centre during the summer of 2013.


Kindergarten students created a wooden mural depicting the tree species that are planted on the trail (top); students from grades 1 to 4 created a map of the Acadian forest that will be installed on the grounds of the school (bottom left); Grade 5 and 6 students created identification tiles out of plaster of Paris for each of the 13 species of trees (bottom right); and, students in grade 7 created a stained glass piece representative of the Acadian forest tree species found on the trail (centre).
© Parks Canada

“Parks Canada and ArtsSmarts PEI share important values and are working together to engage Prince Edward Island youth in creative learning processes though the arts relating to natural and cultural heritage protection in PEI," said Cecile Arsenault, Coordinator for the ArtsSmarts program in PEI. ArtsSmarts is the largest education initiative in Canada dedicated to improving the lives and learning capacity of Canadian children by injecting arts into academic programs. For more information on ArtsSmarts in PEI visit: www.artssmartspei.ca

Parks Canada is pleased to work with ArtsSmarts PEI to support learning through the arts and values the opportunity to connect with Island students in Prince Edward Island so that the next generation of leaders will know, understand and support their natural and cultural heritage.