Sierra Madre Community Nursery School Garden
Our wonderful non-profit community school was founded in 1947 and given city land to build school structures in 1949. The site had formerly been a city dump labeled as “water spreading grounds.” In 1993 Sierra Madre Nursery School (SMCNS) acquired more neglected city land adjoining the school and turned the barren area into the school garden. It has always been a huge community effort as parents and friends of the school have built the paths, wooden benches, three raised vegetable beds, a pergola, and planted a fruit tree grove. The garden serves as an outdoor classroom for the children and an open gift to the community of Sierra Madre.
As research points to the importance of outdoor classrooms and how beneficial it is to children and families to learn how real food is grown, where it comes from, and what the nutritional benefits are, we at SMCNS want to be sure our children have this foundation as early as possible. The faculty at SMCNS are very enthusiastic about using the garden to enrich the curriculum. For the 2013-2014 school year, our goals for the garden are to involve 175 students age 2.5 - 6 years in planning, maintaining, and harvesting the organically grown food on a weekly basis. With the KGI grant, we wish to plant 25 varieties of vegetables, build a vertical gardening tunnel, acquire a worm composter, and plant a melon patch.
The phrase, “What can you do to help yourself?” seems to define the essence of the school. There is no budget set aside for the garden and we depend on donations, saving seeds, and volunteer work to maintain it. The KGI grant would allow us to purchase all the seeds and supplies needed to ensure the garden continues to enrich this school community for another year.
KGI is a nonprofit community of over 30,000 people who are growing some of our own food and helping others to do the same.
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Kitchen Gardeners International
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