Valley Elementary to Plant School Garden This SpringPosted: April 28, 2012
Members of the Valley Community School Wellness Team and Parents in Education (PIE) organization commenced planning of a school vegetable garden to be planted early this April. The main garden bed will be installed in the courtyard behind the elementary building next to the main playground.
Produce from the garden will be used by the Valley cafeteria, in classrooms for taste-testings and nutrition lessons, and for special events. An outdoor classroom space will allow teachers to incorporate the garden into lessons.
Students in grades K-12 will assist in the planting, maintenance, and harvesting of the garden. Garden planners are asking for volunteers to participate in an "adopt-a-garden" program, in which students may sign-up with their families to care for the garden for a week out of the summer.
All garden volunteers will have the opportunity to work side-by-side with Northeast Iowa FFI Resource Contact, Elizabeth Makarewicz, to learn basic garden maintenance skills and participate in an optional cooking class. An additional garden orientation will be held during a garden kick-off party to be scheduled near the end of this school year.
This garden initiative is a part of Valley's 2011-2012 School Wellness Action Plan, which catalogs workshops and wellness projects supported by the Northeast Iowa FFI. Many of these opportunities include activities of two national programs Farm to School and Safe Routes to School.
Efforts to create a culture of wellness have already started in Valley. In conjunction with the school's wellness team, Valley has hosted several community wellness forums and a bicycle and walking safety workshop for students in grades K-6, encouraged healthier snacks in the elementary, initiated an elementary mileage club called "Tiger Tracks", started bi-weekly nutrition lessons in first and second grade classrooms, and seen an increase of local, freshly prepared foods in its school cafeteria, among other projects.
For more information about Valley's garden project, to volunteer your time, or to donate garden supplies, please contact FFI Resource Contact Elizabeth Makarewicz at firstname.lastname@example.org.