We are backyard gardeners-turned-farmers-turned-instructors. Before all else, we are first and foremost parents who understand the potential life-changing value embedded (no pun) in investing in our children an appreciation for and understanding of Nature and how Nature gives back whenever you put Nature first. It was the nature of an opportunity that planted the first seed for Meadow School Common Ground Garden. In the words of Melissa Becker, Principal, Meadow Elementary School, Petaluma, CA...
We at Meadow pride ourselves in being the BEST school. :) So, a few years ago it was brought to my attention that we were the ONLY school in Petaluma without a garden! Really??? This had to be resolved. So one of our teachers and I wrote and applied for a PEF grant for $5,000 to get the garden started. The money was granted to PEF from Barbara's Bakery of Petaluma. We won the grant! Now here is the cool part: TONS of people stepped up to help because $5,000 does no go very far when you are installing a major teaching garden from scratch. We had MANY parents step up to help,as well as a variety of local businesses who sold us items at cost! Michael Olson built our beautiful garden shed for free (we bought the materials) and built all the beds, Jose Garcia (parent) installed all of the drip systems and irrigation, and MANY other parents helped as well. Meadow parent and experienced gardener, Laura Griggs Yew, became our AMAZING garden coordinator and donated THOUSANDS of hours writing curriculum, recruiting parent docents, and creating a vision for how we should plant, and for MAKING IT HAPPEN!
-- Melissa B., principal
On volunteer gardening family days, we have from 25-100 people volunteer (parents and children).
We had 22 docents last year and plan on increasing that number this year.
All beds were installed at the same time. Even the Preschool has its own bed! SCOE (Sonoma County Office of Ed) special day class students also access and learn from our garden.
500 students access the garden EVERY YEAR!
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