The goal of this blog is to tease out all of the good things that school gardens can do. Some things are obvious: kids learn good nutrition when they plant, tend and harvest their own food. But other things are more subtle, and I like to point out these less obvious values. A benefit of school gardens that I have never heard explicitly talked about before is described below by Susi Jones, the executive director of our family resource center. A beautiful campus gardens is a place where staff can recharge. Susi writes:
It may seem curious to see a school staff member wandering in the Character Garden in the middle of the day, but not when you think of gardens as an antidote to the day’s chaos!
Our beautiful school garden- with its native strawberries, gazing ball, dry rock river bed, and flowering orchard- was a calming retreat for me on a particularly busy morning. My feet took me to the garden before I really had determined where I was headed. After just a few minutes of wandering in the garden by myself, enjoying the quiet and peaceful surroundings and collecting my thoughts, I was ready to head back and meet the next challenge.
I know that school gardens enrich curriculum and are healthy for children… and now I know that our school garden is where I will head the next time I want a few moments to relax, refocus, and reenergize.