Our Peace Garden at Eastern Heights Elementary is equal parts science lab, social-emotional gathering spot, reading nook and writing inspiration location!
Unfortunately, our Peace Garden has come into disrepair in the last 5 years, particularly our vegetable and flower beds. Our 4th and 5th grade EL (English Language) learners are responsible for managing and maintaining our garden beds, but this has become difficult recently, as a result of rotted wood and termite damage. This makes it difficult for planting, weeding and sowing, and also preventing potting soil run off.
Our project involves replacing the worn-out wooden beds with self-watering elevated beds with steel legs and treated lumber, to increase the longevity of the beds.
Why raised beds? First of all, raised beds will allow our Kindergarten students and wheelchair-bound special education students to better access the planting process. If the bed is raised anywhere between 10-24 inches from the ground, basic gardening tasks become more accessible to our entire student body. In addition, damage to young seedlings and established plants from critters and rodents is significantly reduced with the use of raised beds.
Grades Pre-K through 5 use the Peace Garden as a science laboratory, studying units on weather and climate, life cycles, seasons, and bird migration and habitat, to name a few. These raised beds would enhance our science curriculum, and improve on this space for years to come.
At Eastern Heights we have a "peace pledge" displayed in our Peace Garden, which states: "I am a peacemaker. I treat myself and others with respect. I listen. I share. I care for the earth, air, water, plants and animals. I am important to this very big world. Peace begins with me."
This pledge is a reminder that our Peace Garden serves many purposes at our school, and this grant will allow us to continue to use it for years to come.
Financiado pelo capítulo St. Paul, MN (June 2023)