Any form of education that goes beyond the walls of a school stays for a lifetime. With kids, this statement stands true. Apart from teaching kids how to be smart and successful, it is also important to teach them the importance of being a part of nature. Nothing can compare to the joy a child gets when he/she grows along with green offsprings in a garden. Nurturing plants in a school garden with friends turns out not only satisfying for a child, but also it also moulds the child into a better human being. Here is a complete guide to setting up a school garden for young, eco-friendly soul.
1. Building support
The first step towards making anything happen is to gain support for it. To build a school garden, your first step should be to discuss the idea with the school administrators, teachers, students and their parents. Gather support right from the beginning. Make them enthusiastic about the project. It will go a long way.
You must convince them that the school garden will impart a lifetime skill to the students, take them a step further when it comes to nutrition and nourishment and encourage them to consume fresh fruits and vegetables. Apart from that, gardening will also inculcate in them an interest in outdoor activities, teach them love and respect for all things organic and natural, and mould them into more patient and loving beings.
2. Planning the school garden
They say, “Well begun is half done.” They are right. When it comes to any project, planning becomes integral and essential. The same goes for your school garden. It is important to get a plan sketched out.
Think about what you want to accomplish with the school garden. Think about what exactly you want to do with the produce from that garden. Think about what resources you need to make it all happen. Being organized and informed from the beginning will be an added benefit.
3. Find a site
The next step in setting up a garden is to find a site for it. School gardens are best set up near the school buildings. The best sites for a school garden will be the ones that are visible from the school windows, closer to water sources and exposed to at least 6-8 hours of good sunlight. However, if your school doesn’t have a vast campus, you can go to school rooftops, containers or even windowsills to build an ecological space!
4. Gathering resources
Building up a garden requires financial funding. Resources aren’t easy to come by. To garner economical support, you need to plan various activities. You can set up a fundraiser, request for donations, apply for numerous grants, or invite the involvement of local businesses. Every single effort counts.
5. Designing the school garden
Once sufficient financial resources are acquired, the next step is to plan the layout of the school garden. It is undoubtedly a mammoth task, but with enough brains in the brainstorming session, it won’t seem as difficult. Team up with your students and draw out a layout for a garden that suits everyone’s needs while also staying within your budget.
You can brainstorm about everything related to the school garden, right from the number of garden beds to the kinds of plants and pathways to walk or fences to keep unwelcome animals away from the grass.
6. Digging it up
Everything that you worked hard and smart for, boils down to this. When it is time to put your plan into practical action, remember- the more, the merrier. Get the students, teachers, and parents involved when you hit the axe on the ground the first time. You can request the participation of local communities and businesses as well.
Divide the tasks among everyone. Let the students plant seeds or seedlings, measure garden beds and create signs. All of these will go a long way in inculcating an interest within their minds about nurturing and preserving the environment.
7. Keeping the spirit alive
Once the school garden is well set-up, it is extremely important to keep its flora and fauna flourished. To maintain the beauty of the school garden, create a permanent school garden committee and elect a garden coordinator. You can also maintain a garden maintenance schedule to ensure that the school garden is taken care of. Ensure that the funding doesn’t stop and try to gather more financial support through various activities to enrich your school garden.
Summing it up
A school garden isn’t just a visual attraction for your students. It is a space where they will learn lessons for life. So, follow this guide, build a school garden, and build a better generation of eco-friendly minds.