Mrs. Cotton's art students at Parkdale helped to produce a 5 ' x 12 ' painted mural that depicts the Community Garden, begun on the campus in the spring.  The mural will accent the seedling room at the school, and serve as inspiration for science, social studies, poetry and art curriculum related to the project. 
    An idea is growing!

    It's been a busy summer in the garden at Parkdale, and plants were bursting at the end of August.  Each week, two volunteer families tend the garden, in charge of watering, weeding and picking its crops.  The new garden sits behind Parkdale's west side, joining a national trend in which schools are providing enrichment and empowerment opportunities for students and community members.  School gardens support every academic subject and student learning style. 

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    aprilThe project, which broke ground on April 30, 2010, will allow students to learn the science of agriculture and lifelong healthy eating skills in an exciting way.  The fenced, raised bed gardens were planned to be organic, irrigated and wheelchair accessible.  Organizers are donating portions of the crop yield to the local residents. 

    Volunteer families keep up on the garden chores and crops at the Parkdale Community Garden blog kept by project coordinator Nicole Morris McLaughlin.

    Children learn science, nutrition, and math through the study of composting, cover crops, and crop rotation.  Using organic principles to combat pests, they learn creative problem solving.  Journals, blogs, photos, and films documenting the garden's evolution support language and visual arts.  Charts and graphs documenting developments and changes in the garden support math and computer skills. 

    Whether visually or tactically inclined, students benefit from the hands-on opportunities a school garden affords.  School garden also support students' extracurricular needs; their maintenance provides physical exercise and teaches children life skills such as hard work, respect for the environment, and community awareness.

    The garden is funded by generous donors (listed below), including the East Aurora Educational Foundation, which granted $8,000 for the project.  Speaking for the Foundation, President Peg Fletcher noted that the board was impressed with the research that went into this grant proposal and the community support for the concept of a community garden.  The funding is through the Foundation's Leadership Grant program and the Priscilla Gleed Memorial Fund.  Miss Gleed was a lifelong resident of East Aurora and a teacher in the East Aurora Union Free School District for 41 years.  Her life was devoted to charitable activities in support of children, the elderly, wildlife and the community in general.


    Parkdale Community Garden blog
    Project coordinator, Nicole Morris McLaughlin

    Kimberly McAtee, Educational Coordinator and Leadership Committee Member


    East Aurora Education Foundation
    Priscilla Gleed Memorial Fund

    Suppliers and Supporters
    Aurora Paint Pot
    Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper
    Platz and Tent Inc. Construction
    Reboy Supply Inc.
    Seeds of Change
    Thorpes Organic Family Farm
    Toy Loft Ltd
    Tri County Tool Rental
    Webers Landscaping Inc.