Our school garden has blossomed into a fruitful outdoor classroom, thanks to the dedication of students, parents, staff, local businesses, and Carver County Master Gardeners!
Four years ago, the first seeds were planted with the goal of establishing an outdoor focal point for learning. At the start of every garden year, students start seeds inside the school and keep them watered while making observations during STEAM classes. In May, we have a planting day where Carver County Master Gardeners and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture guide students through planting and agricultural education sessions. Families volunteer to water the garden throughout the summer and often bring the fresh produce to local food shelves. When students come back to school, they spend time in STEAM classes exploring the garden and the changes they’ve observed since spring. Teachers from a variety of studies, including science, social studies, math/engineering, etc., often creatively incorporate the garden into Standards-Based lesson plans to learn about topics such as life-cycle, germination, the history of the land, and more.
School gardens benefit curriculum, the environment, the physical, social, and emotional health of students, as well as the community. The hard work and generosity of parent volunteers are key to the logistics of our school garden. Thank you for making this powerful environmental education tool available to our students! Also, thank you to Lakewinds Food Coop, Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom, Garden by the Woods, Ace Hardware, Shady Acres Herb Farm, and other local organizations for their support of the Bluff Creek Elementary School Garden.