It’s been full steam ahead for Orchard Ridge Elementary School’s garden project! Since their application was accepted last spring, the ORE GROW team has been planning and preparing for the big build week.
One of the goals from the very beginning of the project was to make sure that all students would not only be included in the garden, but lead the project. On May 22 and 23, that goal came to life when Orchard Ridge students constructed a school garden that they planned and designed themselves.
Each selected school receives money from Madison Community Foundation (MCF) towards their outdoor classroom/garden build and technical/program support, expert resources, and complimentary sustainability workshops from the Grass Roots / Outdoor Wonder (GROW) Coalition.
Orchard Ridge Elementary School was extremely fortunate to also receive a monetary donation from Wind River Financial to cover the costs of installing a necessary water source near the school garden grounds.
All students and staff as well as families and community members were invited to be a part of the actual build days. The build was a student led event with adults taking the backseat. With ratchets, wrenches and buckets in hand, all 380 students participated in the build on both days: preparing the site (digging, excavating, raking, marking, laying cardboard), building raised beds and Leopold benches, laying mulch, filling beds with soil, planting seeds and transplanting seedlings from classrooms. The build was a very successful and moving event. All of the students saw all of their planning and preparations coming together into one large community project. They all saw their responsibility and place within the grand project.