With the help of a US Fish and Wildlife Service grant, Pacific Middle School in Vancouver is restoring a garden, teaching about agriculture and sustainability while getting children outside to learn about soil, plants, pollinators, and ecosystems
reprinted from the US Fish and Wildlife Service Pacific Region
pring has arrived in the Pacific Northwest, bringing warmer temperatures, spring blossoms on the trees and the re-appearance of wildlife in urban areas. The orchard and garden plot of Pacific Middle School has seen this change – witnessed by the 6th, 7th and 8th grader attending classes during the day. Oh, but when the school day ends – that’s when the fun begins. Students stay after school and participate in the school’s Garden Program, calling themselves “The Veggie Maniacs”. Brainchild of Science teacher, Tyler Carlson, the program began in 2012 with a 40 x 40 foot plot of land amidst the 2 dozen neglected fruit trees and unused school property.
With the help of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, through the Columbia River Fisheries Program Office in Vancouver, Washington, the project is now in its second year and has expanded to include community partners, the school district, local business and family members. This project was awarded one of USFWS’s ‘Connecting People with Nature’ grants that purchased all the tools, gloves and garden implements. Support from the National Schoolyard Habitat Program pushed it even further and they’ve succeeded in restoring a garden, teaching about agriculture and sustainability while getting children outside to learn about soil, plants, pollinators, and ecosystems. (more…)