|Ultimate Schoolyard Garden floorplan|
Look what a team can doWe have learned and grown. This year you will see the culmination of a dynamic team of “educators” who have come together to bring our region the Ultimate Schoolyard Garden Display, a feature of the 2014 Southern Home and Garden Show. But it is much more than that – it’s a collaborative connection of educators from the corporate world, the non-profit world and the governmental-agency world embracing STEM skills, schoolyard gardens, food eco-systems, career awareness, and life skills – all focused on helping our students reach self-sufficiency. What does that mean and why are we doing it? Much like we are learning that mass-produced fast food is not the healthiest way of eating, mass produced students lack a connection to their “real world”. So let’s use the real world they live in every school day to make those connections.
Bringing real-world learning to our studentsThe Ultimate Schoolyard Garden and the Green Teacher Network establish the platform for “real world” experiences at school. Come to the Spring Show and see how schoolyard gardens relate to every subject matter, every age, while providing a platform for hands-on, exploratory learning. They not only connect to food and plants but energy, buildings, air quality, and health. Whether you aspire to build that window box or take on a full aquaponics (fish farming & hydroponics in a closed loop water system) project, you will find ideas within the Ultimate Schoolyard Garden.
The Green Teacher Network which is a regional collaboration of educators focused on schoolyard gardens has grown from 40 to over 400 in the past 6 months. We expect the doubling to continue exponentially as the quarterly workshops continue. We are all educators and all have an opportunity to support each child making that connection to the real world.
We need your help and supportPlease share our newsletter with your contacts, Friend us on Facebook and support us financially if you are able. I’d like to leave you with one of my newest favorite quotes from one of our world renowned Charlotte Gardeners, Elizabeth Lawrence (see www.winghavengardens.org). Elizabeth Lawrence wrote the Charlotte Observer garden column for many years. In her first column in 1957, repeated in her book A Southern Garden, she wrote “the world of gardening is a world as old as the history of man, and as new as the latest contribution of science: a world of mystery, adventure, and romance; a world of poetry and philosophy; a world of beauty: and a world of work…no other undertaking will give as great a return for the amount of effort put into it”.
Join us and get your hands dirty
Edna Chirico, Executive Director