GODFREY – In honor of Earth Day, the Green Team at North Elementary School in Godfrey planted several vegetable plants, donated by Lewis and Clark Community College, in their Community Gardens. The Lorax even showed up to lend a helping hand.
“L&C gladly supports the initiative by North Elementary to teach children about gardening,” said L&C Horticultural Manager Kara Mayfield. “As we embark on our third annual Garden show, ‘Garden of Eatin’,’ the partnership could not be more timely. We hope the students will have an opportunity to learn more about their food sources and nutrition on their campus and ours in the coming months.”
The Green Team is also responsible for taking care of the garden and all the other sustainability initiatives at North Elementary, including recycling. Several staff members are helping the first Green Team on their sustainable journey, including Assistant Principal Ann McLaughlin, Co-Teacher Jen Koenig, Co-Teacher Joyce Meyer, Social Worker Edie Banks, Special Education Co-Teacher Jessica Steward and Fourth Grade Teacher Jen Herring.
“The Earth Day Community Garden planting project aims to help students learn the importance of growing and planting vegetables and caring for the Earth,” Herring said. “Since so many of our students live in an environment where planting their own food isn't an option, we want to them to be able to see not only how to do it, but why it is helpful for everyone to be involved.”
North Elementary’s newly constructed Community Gardens were paid for by a grant from Lowe’s. The Madison County Planning and Economic Development Department provides funds for transportation so the Green Team can go on field trips and make it to meetings.
Some of the food grown in the Community Garden will be donated to a local food pantry.
“We also want students to understand the importance of giving back to our community,” Herring said. “We feel it’s essential to give our vegetables to the Crisis Food Pantry because many of our own North families have to rely on this resource from time to time, so we are learning and giving at the same time.”
Lewis and Clark’s third Annual Themed Garden Show, titled “Garden of Eatin’,” will showcase edible and drinkable plants aimed at connecting garden visitors and L&C students with their food sources.
“Hopefully, Garden of Eatin’ and North Elementary’s Community Gardens will inspire community members to plant their own gardens and share the bounty of their harvests with friends and neighbors,” Mayfield said.