Garden as hangout space

In the intial brainstorming about the garden at the junior high (“the Living Room”), it was agreed that one of the major objectives for this space was to create a green, inviting garden space in which kids would want to hang out.  To this end, we wrote a grant for a BBQ, six tables, and 8 benches.  They arrived right before vacation, and last Sunday afternoon a team of kids, parents, staff (and staff spouses!) put them in place.

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Poles were sunk in the ground to keep the tables steady and in place.

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Benches were set throughout the garden for extra seating.

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Volunteers are the first to try out the benches!

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A few benches are also placed around campus.

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Volunteer students also try them out!

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Look at this brand new social space!  Let the hanging out begin!

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Thank to everyone who came out and worked to improve this space for the junior high students!

Gardens can be infectious

After two years of growing the elementary garden, our adjacent junior high wanted one too! An unused dirt strip on one side of the basketball court was chosen.  (The building at the top of the hill edges the elementary garden.)

A year ago (this week!) things got rolling with the help of the garden club, volunteers and staff (Dana, project champion and Brian, enthusiastic administrator).  Dirt was delivered when I was up at the elementary garden prepping for Global Youth Service Day, and I remember cheering at the top of my lungs and getting choked up (what’s new?) when the truck arrived.

Ground was leveled, wood chips were spread, three beds were built, a shed was put in place, rainbarrels were installed, and herbs and flowers were planted–all by community volunteers, students, staff and parents.  The garden was named “The Living Room,” because among other things, we are trying to create a beautiful space where middle schoolers can do what they love to do: hang out.  As such, we are planning for some “coffee shop” elements, including small bistro tables and a outdoor food counter/BBQ with a big blackboard on the wall behind it. The first bed to go in was herbs, so that students could learn how to brew their own tea.

Big projects at this garden are in the works, and my older son is heading there next year, so I plan to write more about it.

Check out the transformation already:

The school secretary planted this box of flowers---everyone calls it "Trudy's garden"