Island Time Kayaking

Casey’s view of the world

Giving Garden at Madison-Avanti

May31

I love that I call Olympia home and that the sense of community is so strong amongst our friends and neighbors.  What has been accomplished in such a short amount of time is nothing less than amazing.  This project started as a small idea from the pricipal at Avanti High School.  A joint venture with Madison Elementary to have a garden.  Perhaps just a raised bed or two in the shared parking lot between the two schools.  A project that would get the kids from both schools working together.  There was interest and after a meeting of interested parties this idea evolved from a couple of raised beds in a parking lot to a magnificent working garden in what was once referred to as "The Madison Pond."  Parents, volunteers, students, and the community came together to make this project a reality.

This garden has already been a fantastic learning experience for the students, and they have already reaped the rewards in the form of salad and ownership.  Most of the students can tell you which plant they grew from a seed and then planted in the garden, what it is, and they are excited about it!  And it just isn't gardening they are learning, there have been reading lessons, math lessons, social studies (complete with a borscht and salsa garden) and it is all growing right outside the windows to the school from the tiny seed of an idea.

When we walk by the school during recess it is great to see that some of the kids actually spend their free time in the garden, walking the paths, checking for weeds, enjoying the space.  Community members and neighbors use it as a spot for picnics and to take care of it.  Food produced from the garden will go to families who need it and the Food Bank during the summer when kids are not in school.  It is truly amazing what has transpired from that tiny seed of an idea.

Just imagine what we could do as a community if we all put our little bit of effort into something.  A marshy portion of a field became a garden in a matter of a few months and a handful of work parties.  People who have no vested interest in either of the schools got involved.  We had adults and kids alike who were there for a baseball or soccer game during a work party pick up a shovel and pitch in, they wanted to be involved.  Amazing…simply amazing.

During this whole process a neighbor and photographer Steven Herppich came and took photos documenting the process and he was kind enough to put those photos into a very moving slide show.  It was shown at the garden dedication and it was very emotional for the adults but for the children as well.

And now you can see how far the garden has come, and the fabulous thing is, it is just going to continue to get better and amaze us all.

http://animoto.com/play/kR4NEGWY1jv4rSXEKG0N7g

posted under Food, Garden, Personal

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