A Garden for Santa Fe Little School
August 14th, 2018
My job as an environmental scientist doesn’t end when I leave work. So, it wasn’t a surprise when I drove by Santa Fe Little School – as I have many times before to drop off my kids – that I noticed the school’s garden. It was unkept and overgrown with weeds. That’s when I came up with an idea to promote student engagement with gardening.
In discussions with the school’s principal, Dr. Karen Bennett, I understood that the school had no funding to keep the garden growing. I knew of a small fix that I could help the school with to get the garden operational again. Dr. Bennett and I worked together to draft a gardening grant application to the Florida Association of Environmental Soil Scientists (FAESS). As a past FAESS president and having served eight years on the FAESS Executive Council, I knew the project at Santa Fe Little School was a perfect match of community involvement project the organization was looking to fund.
FAESS awarded the grant that provided soil fertility testing, soil amendments, vegetable plants, pollinator flowers for two gardens and a variety of educational material for the Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) and 4-year-old classes.
I’m proud to be a part of a great educational endeavor and the kids have the opportunity to garden and grow flowers at school.
And the garden is still thriving, according to Dr. Bennett who said the children are enjoying the process of watching the plants grow and look forward to eating their harvest of tomatoes, beans, broccoli and peppers.