This initiative will provide students the opportunity to utilize the school greenhouse to explore the many health benefits (physical, mental, social, emotional, and spiritual) associated with gardening and growing various vegetables, herbs, and flowers. It will also provide students the opportunity to work towards building a healthy community.
Throughout the year, students have worked in the greenhouse to start a variety of vegetables, herbs, and flowers. While doing so, the students have made connections to the health and wellness benefits of gardening to their physical health (physical exertion while gardening, growing healthy foods), their mental health (doing something relaxing, being in a calm and supportive environment), their emotional health (smelling the flowers, being responsible for other things), their social health (working with their peers in a non-traditional classroom, working toward shared goals), and their spiritual health (having a sense of peace and purpose while in the greenhouse).
Plants that the students grew were available for purchase by the school staff. Funds generated from the plant sale will be used to continue this project into next year.
Students also donated a variety of tomato plants, zucchini, and sunflowers to a local gentleman who tends a garden in support of a local ICAN project. Produce from the garden is donated to the ICAN project for members of their independent living program.