Grade Two Garden
Each class at Geary Elementary Community School (GECS) currently has one raised garden bed (4’X8’) to plant vegetables and flowers. The green space of the school grounds is being expanded to include a food forest, a pollinator garden, an herb garden and three sisters’ plots to reclaim unused space in various locations of the playground areas and school grounds. Our vision for using the LSF grant is to reclaim the unused space under the triangles at each end of the swing set on the K-2 playground. The space is currently pea gravel, and the entire K-2 playground is pea gravel with little green area other than some mowed grass on a steep slope. The vision is to plant a three sisters vertical garden using the metal support poles of the swing set as boundaries for the footprint of the gardens. An apple tree will be planted at each end of the gardens, creating a future oasis location offset from the new garden spaces at each end of the swings. These gardens will use the Three Sisters and Seven Sisters traditions for inspiration, utilizing companion planting and illustrating sustainability.
Two classes of Grade 2 students have met to choose trees, conceptualize the new garden space, discuss the social story needed to communicate the garden project to the other K-2 students using the playground, plant seeds, document the germination process, plant the germinated seeds in soil inside transparent cups for further observation of root development, and create artworks that will be used in the social story. Students will create a social story to share will the school. Once the danger of frost is past, students will build the new garden area and plant everything outside. Students will document the expected changes to the playground area by documenting species counts and observations.
Reflection & Celebration
Students will enjoy the new green space in their playground area. Students are very enthusiastic about having a green garden space in their daily play area and will share their project success stories with other students, families, volunteers and staff. Students will create posters for the halls to celebrate the greener space in their daily recess times. Students are very excited that in future years here at GECS, there will be apples to eat that are grown on the trees they are planting this year.
Check out this video of our project!