Organization: Jefferson Elementary
Jefferson Elementary School in Richland Center is establishing a school garden to promote higher quality learning by integrating nutrition and gardening practices in an economically distressed area. With a new garden to tend after, students will experience first-handedly the link between good nutrition and the origin of fresh food. The community is certain their students’ active involvement in the gardening process will yield positive attitudes about the environment and an enhanced understanding into sustainable practices in horticultural.
Jefferson Elementary believes their elevated, square foot garden will lend itself to easy, weed-free maintenance and provide ample space for children to gather for optimal learning experiences. Furthermore, the school maintains that less soil preparation will allow for more variety in a smaller gardening space. During the school year, classes will be responsible for the preservation and upkeep of the garden. During summer and periods of extended leave, students and faculty members will implement a maintenance plan where families can volunteer for weeding, watering and harvesting for specific weeks at a time.
Jefferson Elementary maintains that consuming more fruits and vegetables during childhood makes individuals far more likely to consume the same fresh foods later in life, helping to establish healthier eating practices generation over. The school hopes that a garden will develop a strong sense of ownership and responsibility in students, further encouraging an increase in healthy eating habits. Jefferson Elementary hopes to have fresh fruits and vegetables like tomatoes, squash and peppers when the 2014 school year begins in the fall.