We’re Girl Scout Troop 4044, and we are raising money for our school garden. The Museum School has been keeping the garden alive and prosperous for many years now, but it has fallen into extreme disrepair. We are raising money to renovate the garden, starting with replacing the old beds with new ones, and getting some new plants, so that we can make our garden a thriving paradise again!
In funding the Museum School’s garden, you are ensuring more nutritional meals for these kindergarten to eighth grade students.
When the Museum School was opened on August 9th, 2010, there were few students there, but the school has now grown to almost 600 students! The garden, occupying a small section of the playground, is very small and doesn’t produce enough fresh fruits or vegetables for 600 students. A study from https://articles.extension.org/pages/27731/benefits-of-growing-your-own-fruits-and-vegetables shows that kids who help out in a garden are more likely to eat the vitamin-rich plants that come from that garden, so the kids that engage in the process of growing and harvesting their own food, will get the reward of health afterwards in eating these fruits and vegetables, but only if there are enough fruits and vegetables to be shared around. Also, school gardens can create an elevated sense of community among teachers and students, leading to better, stronger, friendships.
As The Museum School has grown since 2010, the school nutritionist, Mrs. Johnson, saw a need for continuing student involvement garden and began the Garden Club. Through meetings of the Garden Club, the number of attendees has grown and so have the knowledge and popularity of the club. Over the years, as occasional meetings turned into weekly meetings, the students were first split into an elementary age group and a middle school group. Later, the elementary group split again into two groups, taking turns for garden days.
The Museum School Garden Club has put their time in the garden to tangible use: making an herbal salt rub blend for Thanksgiving dinner, as well as Garden Gumbo and lip balm to sell as fundraisers for the Nutrition Program. As of December 2018, a program for composting in the lunchroom with 5th and 6th grade has begun with hopes of reducing lunch waste while benefiting the garden and teaching the students how composting can help the environment and their lives. Successful so far, this program will be expanded this year to reach all grade levels.
The garden at the Museum School has been beautiful in the past, but now, parts of it have fallen into disrepair. As some of the garden beds have rotted or fallen apart, we’ve had to get rid of some beds, while trying to nail other beds back together. Even within the past few months, we’ve found more beds that are deteriorating. As we continue to gain students, we also continue to lose space for garden growth. With this garden renovation, we are hoping to develop more usable space, as well as get new beds, pots, and equipment that will allow us to have the type of garden the school needs and desires – one that reaches students in all grade levels and is truly a year-round, highly productive garden and a space for inspiration.
In addition to food crops, we support wildlife in our garden, including student-made bird baths, pollinator plants, and a variety of milkweed that has hosted several monarch butterflies. The garden is also a certified National Wildlife Habitat, this certification being one of the most recent small projects the middle school Garden Club has worked on. Although this may seem sufficient, there is so much unfulfilled potential and the Museum School’s students are brimming with ideas. Therefore, we should be able to get things like bat boxes, because the bats would eat unwanted bugs like mosquitoes. We should also be able to do things like getting a new birdbath, birdhouses, and flowers for pollinators. This would help by keeping away unwanted bugs but keeping helpful bugs like pollinators. This would eventually go back around to the nutritional factor in the sense that the school wouldn’t need pesticides to get a better amount of food, which is beneficial for everyone, because this means that the food is safer and healthier to eat for the kids and our nutritionist. While some may argue that the birds would eat the crop, if we were to add bird feeders into the mix, the birds would be much less likely to eat the plants.
With your financial support to renovate the garden, our school will not only receive more herbs, fruits and vegetables, but also improve the natural environment around the school as well as students’ individual skills, especially in the garden. Members of the Garden Club will learn the value of hard work that gardening requires, and appreciate the amount of work that goes into growing produce. The garden will also improve students’ health at school and promote healthy habits to take home.
We would really appreciate your support in growing our garden for our growing school! Click here to make a donation.