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
students and community members. School
gardens support every academic subject and student learning style.
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The 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.
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
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.