These systems have water, waste and energy flowing into and

Posted by Roses on January 16, 2015
Categories: Uncategorized

Greening Our Community

on a hot and humid Wednesday afternoon. Students drop their canada goose outlet toronto factory backpacks outside the picket fence and gather trowels, rakes and baskets from the storage area. It’s “Weeding Wednesday” at Chiles High School’s garden.

The students are excited and inquisitive: “Potatoes in the ground?” “I smell something wonderful!” “Look at all the bees!” And my favorite, “Can we pick it now and eat it?”

There is a canada goose outlet store uk growing divide between today’s youth and the ecology that surrounds them. Many young people stay inside in front of canada goose factory sale computers or playing video games, exploring virtual canada goose outlet reality instead of the canada goose outlet online uk natural world. canada goose outlet uk Traditional classrooms are too often tightly structured and stifle a student’s creative exploration.

School gardens are outdoor classrooms where learning happens through trial and error and hands on experiences. Their benefits are canada goose factory outlet numerous, substantiated by an abundance of research and anecdotal evidence. They are a means of improving academic success, promoting good health, demonstrating stewardship, fostering community and instilling a canada goose uk outlet sense of place. School gardens have been shown to improve math, science, writing, social studies and attitudes toward learning.

Teachers view school gardens as living laboratories, a botany lesson on a plate, math for determining the growth rate of plants, and the muse for writing a poem. Gardens represent a pure and direct experimental, inquiry based approach to learning. Students benefit enormously from school gardens by gaining knowledge of good nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices.

Besides exposing students to fresh veggies, school gardening also requires physical work. Students burn energy pulling weeds, shoveling compost or mulching the beds with pine straw. Working in the cheap canada goose uk garden is very different from the traditional classroom where students sit in a desk for most of the day.

Every Canada Goose Parka school resides within a watershed and ecosystem. These systems have water, waste and energy flowing into and out of them and can be clearly demonstrated in a school garden. School gardens reduce canada goose jacket outlet the school’s ecological impact through composting food scraps, mulching beds with pine straw and harvesting rainwater with rain barrels. Understanding the ecosystem in which the school is located fosters a strong environmental stewardship ethic.

School gardens also encourage community and social development. Life skills such as teamwork, volunteerism and communication are products of working in the garden. These skills are important to the development of youth and a strong community. Being involved in the school garden gives students an understanding of the area canada goose outlet parka and canada goose outlet a sense of place what the natural world looks, feels and smells like. Recognizing this helps them distinguish how canada goose outlet they are the same and how they are different from the rest of the world.

On “Weeding Wednesday” workdays in the Chiles High garden, students are never idle. They are actively ministering to the needs of the garden through soil preparation, planting, turning the compost pile, weeding, and harvesting produce. As the garden becomes a canada goose black friday sale bit more self sufficient, students engage in activities canada goose outlet canada to assist them in understanding the importance of growing food, preparing fresh meals and giving to the community. goose outlet canada The majority of the garden produce is donated canada goose coats to Second Harvest food bank canada goose black friday sale and local church pantries.

Chiles High students making basil pesto.

Garden produce is also used for fundraising. Students use the school culinary arts kitchen to make fresh basil pesto and spinach wraps, which are sold to faculty and students. Incorporating year round garden lessons and activities for all Chiles teachers is next on the agenda. The motto of Chiles’ school garden is “We Dig Our Garden,” and we certainly do!

Chiles High students canadian goose jacket sell their produce

Happy Sunflower in Chiles High garden.

School garden programs are fragile and dependent on the enthusiasm and support of the principal, teachers and Canada Goose Jackets community. Dig in and help school gardens by offering free garden materials, assistance with grant writing and spreading the word about the importance of outdoor education.

For information on how your school or how you can help a school start a school garden contact your local extension agency. Be sure to follow the growth of Chiles’ garden “The Angela Breza Pierce Garden” on Facebook.


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