Breaking News Bar
updated: 2/24/2014 9:26 PM

Millburn hopes to grow its educational gardens

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • Millburn School and Community Garden is raising funds to increase the educational opportunities associated with the garden, including an outdoor classroom.

      Millburn School and Community Garden is raising funds to increase the educational opportunities associated with the garden, including an outdoor classroom.
    Courtesy of Lori Vellinga

  • Millburn School students work in the community garden.

      Millburn School students work in the community garden.
    Courtesy of Lori Vellinga

  • Boxes flourish with flowers and vegetables at the Millburn School and Community Garden project.

      Boxes flourish with flowers and vegetables at the Millburn School and Community Garden project.
    Courtesy of Lori Vellinga

 
 

Teachers and volunteers at Millburn Elementary School in Wadsworth want to grow a program that connects students with the environment.

Part instructional tool and part community activity, students and parents have worked a plot near the school for more than two years as the Millburn School and Community Garden.

Order Reprint Print Article
 
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

But a new phase to expand the program "as an educational and therapeutic place for our community to grow and learn," is underway, according to organizers.

"It's a combination of a school and garden group," said Lori Vellinga, co-chair of the fundraising committee that has set a goal of $15,000 to create an outdoor "classroom" with benches, shade sails, tool tubs and other features and make other improvements.

"That's our very ambitious goal," Vellinga said of the effort, which runs to the end of March. "The main cost is the crushed stone pathways."

The wish list also includes funding for the installation of three themed gardens, including a World War II-style Victory Garden; formal pathways; an annual greenhouse project field trip to Tempel Farms; and, transportation for visits to the gardens by Millburn Middle School students.

Regina Reynolds, a fourth-grade teacher who co-chairs the effort, said the yearlong classroom space would be used for various programs at all age levels.

"Students, Scouts or families will gather here to share and train for various gardening adventures," she told the Daily Herald in an email.

The new classroom at the center of the garden would represent a bridge between community plot gardeners and budding student gardeners, she added.

According to the group, schools with outdoor garden programs score higher on standardized tests in math and reading, for example, and students who participate also score higher on science achievement tests and have increased their fitness level, as well as the amounts and types of vegetables they eat.

School staffers have hosted clubs and summer school garden classes and promoted the mental and physical advantages for having gardening in the curriculum.

Lesson plans already have been developed. Crops will include corn, carrots, melons, squash, strawberries, kale, lettuce, beans, peppers and spinach.

"By working in the garden, students can see how math, science, and language commingle instead of as separate subjects -- much more like the real world," Reynolds said. Cooperative group learning, stewardship and fellowship are other benefits, she added.

Donations can be made at www.greenourplanet.org.

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.