Can I go water the carrots?
It’s a question teachers at Lakeview Elementary School will hear more often now that students, parents, teachers and community partners have built the school’s first garden.
“We’ve been nurturing these kids as our garden … and now we’ve given them a garden,” said Principal Judy Chance.
The six large planter boxes contain mint, bell peppers, corn, tomatoes, squash, zucchini and other healthy foods. Fifth grade student Sydney, 11, said she can’t wait for the carrots and watermelon to come up.
“I really enjoyed planting it with my friends,” she said. “In the end we have a beautiful garden.”
Lakeview’s garden project started about five years ago with first-grade teacher Cheryle Fechner leading the way. The first garden was in a simple barrel.
“Why not a garden?” Fechner said. “Gardens are good for children; being outside is good for children.”
Fechner presented Chance and Mercy Folsom representative Jan Wilcox with golden shovels at the garden dedication ceremony Friday. The teacher said the project would not have been possible without Mercy, the parents and the children.
“I think it’s going to be a wonderful living classroom for the school,” Wilcox said.
Teachers will use the garden to teach students about healthy lifestyles and “how to make a healthy school lunch,” Fechner said. The fresh food will be incorporated into the school lunch program and some could be sold at a farmers market.
Gardens also teach children cooperation and “bring everybody together in a purposeful and joyful way,” regardless of age, Rescue Union School District Superintendent Carol Bly added.
In the classroom there’s an emphasis on technology, science, etc., said parent and PTO President Carmen Reed. This outdoor classroom “adds just as much” to the students’ education. “We’re just thrilled with the community’s support.”
The Lakeview Garden is sponsored by Mercy Folsom, Intel, El Dorado Disposal, the Rotary Club of El Dorado Hills, the White family and the Dodson family.