LOWER COLUMBIA SCHOOL GARDENS
Cultivating the values of lifelong learning, sustainability, health, and community.
In Fall 2012, first grade wanted to provide a hands-on experience that extended their science FOSS kits on plants beyond the classroom. Beacon Hill Elementary received support from the first grade teachers, first grade families, PTO, volunteers, and principal to construct four raised garden beds on the barren asphalt between two portables. LCSG donated two compost bins for students to recycle their uneaten fruits and vegetables from lunch to create their own organic fertilizer. In November 2013, Ms. Clontz's 29 first graders taught over 500 students at Beacon Hill the importance of composting and every grade is now composting after lunch! Mrs. Cornett's third grade class and Ms. Clontz's first grade class maintain two donated worm bins.
We have had an amusing time learning how to construct adequate covers for our gardens to protect them from animals and cold weather, and we are still altering designs. In 2013 first graders grew sugar-snap peas, lettuce, carrots, chives, radishes, and garlic. Students have gained much pride in caring for their red wigglers, composting to turn spoil into soil, and growing their own food!