June 15, 2017 2:09 pm
Updated: June 15, 2017 4:21 pm

The Marigold Project celebrates 20 years in Saint John

WATCH ABOVE: It's a 20-year-old Saint John tradition that has been replicated in other countries and shows no signs of slowing down. As Andrew Cromwell reports, "The Marigold Project" is about a lot more than planting flowers.

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The Marigold Project celebrated its 20th birthday by having more than 7000 students from 63 schools plant marigolds.

The project expects to beat it’s own Guiness World Record for the number of students planting flowers at the same time.

The initiative began as a modest endeavor in Saint John to help beautify the community and empower children.

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“Now we’re at over four million marigolds, 63 schools, 65 gardens in the Fundy region,” said Barry Ogden, Founder of the Marigold Project.

If they were to break the Guinness World Record, it would be the fifth time the organization has done so.

But for Ogden, a retired teacher, the initiative isn’t about accomplishment or world records. Instead, he thinks the benefit is inclusive and lateral learning.

“That means that they do their math germination rates, photosynthesis, science, they do art work, they do poetry,” he said. “So it becomes a central theme in their learning and then they take and plant them and then they’re proud because everybody else is proud.”

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Rebecca Crosby, 14, has been planting marigolds for 11 consecutive years.

It’s in honour of her brother Lucas who died in 2003 at the age of 7 and  who took part in marigold planting himself.

“It gets a little more important each year because I know i’m representing my family and myself and the honour I’m carrying,” said Crosby.

As for the future, Ogden couldn’t help himself by throwing in a little pun.

“It just keeps growing,” he said

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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