As San D recommended, a garden for your school is a wonderful ecological
project. Ours was planned to go with many of the science programs. Dying
plants, historically local plants, butterfly and bird attracting plants cover
the area. The local garden club became involved. A woodland area with a
pond for first grade tadpoles and frogs was a beautiful area. Reading
writing, art and music take place in our garden. Sundials adorn the walks
during that unit and papermaking has a great home.
A big But...... make sure you plan the garden wisely. When we were building
it we had free access to the building. Families came on weekends and all
through the summer.
Now, or the last two years, the buildings have been locked except for school
hours, and all weekends. This summer the building will be locked to all for
the whole summer except one week and a day before school begins. The garden
has few helpers and workers during school hours, the emphasis in my school
being memorizing and testing and drilling for math and science state tests.
Teachers are worn out, not supported in long term deep learning and most
everyone has given up except, of course the parents, who have after work
hours and weekends to work with their families. Of course these are the hours
the school is not open.
The outside of the building areas are also falling into disrepair because of
the general attitude. With the building locked during out of school hours, I
have had to put my energies into bulletin boards, clay firings, and lesson
prep, because my extra hours have been taken away.
Before you begin a project like a garden (ours was a wonderful thing) be sure
you have long term support from the central and building administration.
Thousands of hours and dollars have gone down the drain until we get a good
principal and central administration, again.