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School garden tour recap and upcoming events

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Kris, far right, shows off some off a worm bin that doubles as a bench in the school garden.

NOTE: The event scheduled for March 24th has been cancelled. 

The WSU-Extension Master Gardeners, in partnership with the Clark County Nature Network, kicked off their first school garden tour of the season at River HomeLink in Battle Ground. With spring right around the corner, it was a great opportunity for those involved with school gardens to share what is happening at their gardens and how to address the challenges they may be facing. Kris Potter, Master Composter Recycler, River HomeLink garden coordinator, 2019 Green Neighbor of the Year and all-around garden extraordinaire, led the tour. Kris has been working with school and community gardens all throughout Clark County for many years, and is a wealth of knowledge of how to maintain a school garden and incorporate it into learning experiences. 

On the tour, folks discussed various topics such as garden related curriculum, grant funding, and how to start and maintain a garden. Gardens can be used as teaching tools, providing experiences for students that aren't possible in a traditional classroom setting. Studies have shown that outdoor learning spaces are beneficial to students' emotional, mental and physical health. They allow students to practice self-care as well as establish positive relationships with nature and food from a young age. 

After the discussion, Kris led everyone in making seed paper. To make seed paper, all that is needed are paper napkins, basic school/craft glue, a marker and seeds. The napkins are marked with evenly spaced dots that correspond with the correct spacing for the types of plants being grown. The seeds are glued to the dots and left to dry. These are buried under the soil by students who are each responsible for caring for the seeds they planted. This is a wonderful activity to show how easy gardening can be!

To finish up the tour, Kris guided everyone around the garden, native habitat landscape and worm bins she maintains at River HomeLink. It was an amazing day, full of inspiration and learning. Thank you to Kris, the WSU-Extension Master Gardeners and the Clark County Nature Network for organizing and hosting these events!

The next school garden tour will be 3:30 - 5 pm on Tuesday, March 24th at Hazel Dell Elementary. The tour will be led by Barbara Nordstrom; email her at growsmiles@hotmail.com to RSVP for this free event. 

If you have a school garden, add your information to the OSPI Washington School Garden Map.  Check out the map to see what is on there currently and then take the survey to update your information. 

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