• Garden Park Elementary School Kids Plant New Garden - Tuesday, March 2, 2010 at

  • Students at Garden Park Elementary School in Garden Grove planted vegetable gardens on school grounds over the weekend as part of a program to teach kids about gardening and respect for the earth.

    "Gardens are a great way to bring the community together as well as provide students an exceptional opportunity to learn about the cycles of life," says Gary Gerstner, Garden Park principal.

    Three tons of compost were donated to the school by Agromin, an earth-friendly soil manufacturer and the green materials recycler for numerous communities in Orange County. Once the soil was delivered, parents and students wheelbarrowed the compost to the garden areas where it was mixed into the soil. Parents then helped kids plant vegetable seeds and flowers.

    "Students will take responsibility for the entire garden. They will plant, water, weed, chart growth and ultimately harvest the vegetables," says Cammy Devereux, a Garden Park kindergarten teacher. Devereux has another plan for the site: her classroom's desert tortoise named Tortellini will be allowed to graze in a lettuce patch that students will plant especially for him.

    Second grade teacher Lori Wolsky says her students plan to grow radishes, mustard, green beans and flowers that will attract butterflies and good insects. "We are starting seedlings in cups so students can experience the entire growth process from planting seeds to harvest," says Wolsky. "Some of our veggies will be served in our school's salad bar."

    "Students, staff, and parents already have an understanding of the value of being good stewards of the the land. By planting and managing the garden, all will garner a deeper appreciation for nature and the earth," says Angie Balius, who teaches a second-third grade class.

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