Students from across the province will engage with Remembrance Day in a new and environmentally friendly way this year thanks to an innovative collaboration between Fanshawe College, Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB), Ottawa Catholic School Board (OCSB) and the Royal Canadian Legion.


The Poppy Project, developed by faculty in Fanshawe’s School of Design, involves students creating sustainable poppies made from seed paper that can be worn and then placed in gardens. The seed paper will decompose and, if conditions are right, poppies will bloom in the spring. The paper is made with Oriental poppy seeds, a species that is safe for Canadian gardens.


This year, the project has expanded beyond London to include schools from the TCDSB and OCSB with kits being distributed to dozens of schools in those regions. The classroom kits contain supplies, a lesson plan with step-by-step instructions and a presentation focused on the history of the poppy.


Students from the Thames Valley District School Board, London District Catholic School Board and Montessori School in London will also take part in the Poppy Project this year, with schools integrating the sustainable poppies into lessons about Remembrance Day.


“It’s exciting to see this program grow throughout Ontario,” says Dana Morningstar, associate dean of Fanshawe’s School of Design. “The poppy is an important symbol in Canada. Professor Wendy Sperry has created this new, sustainable design and is sharing it with young students, which is such a meaningful way to honour our veterans.”


* The Poppy Design is a registered trademark of The Royal Canadian Legion, Dominion Command and is used under license.