Backyard Action Hero Toyota Backyard Action Hero Guidebook August 2016 - Page 12

Conservation Spotlight: School Gardens Living in a city does not mean having to be away from nature. There are plenty of wonderful natural things all around us from city parks to backyards. You can even find nature at school! Indian Trail Elementary School in Kentucky brought nature into their classes with a school garden. Starting your own school garden can be a great way to have fun with nature and science. Learn how a school garden brought nature and the power of growing to a whole community. In 2011, Indian Trail really wanted a school garden, so they enlisted the help of their friends at the nearby Fern Creek High School to come help them build one. The students all worked hard together, building six planting beds. That seems like a small start but building a few raised beds can be a great first step to starting a garden. Later, they added four more. If you use recycled materials like unused wooden pallets and cardboard, it’s a very earth friendly, inexpensive and effective way to build more garden beds. So, how do you keep a school garden going? At Indian Trail — everyone helps! Each class uses the garden at least twice a year so students can learn things like where our food comes from, the interactions between soil and animal life in the garden, and perform fun hands-on science experiments. When classes aren't going on in the garden, it's open for any staff member or student to use during the day. A weekly gardening club also visits during the fall and spring to help out. The fun of having a garden is contagious. Even the Indian Creek community gets involved with visits during the summer to maintain the garden. So, what do you grow in a school garden? Some of the popular items planted at Indian Creek are