Us here at Windward high school used the grant given to us by Generation On to fix up the old greenhouse located at our school and build a raised bed.
We wanted this project to encompass many different learning opportunities, as to provide a way for all students participating to have something they can learn about. To start we worked with students that knew a lot about building and garden work to decide what type of garden we wanted to put together, as well as the type of wood to use. We also went through our greenhouse to find out what needed to be done, and what could still be used.
After this we went out into our community to establish connections with local businesses and use their knowledge to complete our project. We got in contact with a lumber and hardware store called ProBuild to find wood and figure out the gritty details off how to put the garden together. The owners of ProBuild loved our idea so much that they donated all the lumber we needed to build our garden! Without their kindness we would not have been able to do nearly as much.
Next we got in contact with our local food bank, as well as a community garden already located in town. From both of these organizations we learned about what is the best type of food to grow and donate back to our community. While talking with the food bank, as well as another student who uses the food bank, we learned that they really wanted vegetables to make salads.
Now knowing this we went to a local garden store to get dirt and seeds for our garden. Once again they were kind enough to donate materials to us, in this case five bags of beautiful garden soil. On top of this they also gave us discounts on the other items we bought!
During this project there were other donations from parents and community members, and in the end we ended up with over $550 worth of donations. This project went from a small garden to a large community effort.
Once we got all our materials and plans we hosted a work party to get the job done! Starting an hour before school let out we gathered all the students who wanted to help out in our schools field and set to work. We split the students into three groups: Team A cleared and evened out the land the garden was to be on, Team B built the raised bed, and Team C cleaned out and fixed up our old greenhouse. It took four days to finish everything, with students volunteering everyday to help see this beautiful garden finished. In the end we had over 30 students help with the actual building of our garden.
The greenhouse has started growing seeds, and as time goes on more will be planted and moved out to the garden. We have lettuce, tomatoes, cauliflower, peas, and radishes growing now. With cucumbers, peppers and many more to come.
The original goal of this project was to bring our community a little closer together while giving back to the place we live in. In the end, we accomplished this and much more, expanding our community and not only giving back to our community, but also establishing ties with it.