Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The power of Squidoo

Ohme, who has been a constant, unwavering supporter of the Memory Garden, has a fabulous squidoo lens about our progress and history. Check it out here
There are some fabulous comments and there have been visitors from all over the world. A really neat feature is her ability to generate Memory Garden momentos which you can buy on-line and a portion of the profits comes to the Garden- how cool is that! I have my eye on a snazzy water-bottle with the Memory Garden logo on and perhaps all my friends might get Memory Garden bags for Christmas - but shhhhh, don't tell!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Garden volunteer program announced ...

The Growing Garden

Greetings PES family -

We are pleased to announce that initial construction phase of the Memory Garden is complete! Each grade is now responsible for an garden area based on their specific state standards. Now it is time to move forward and use this exciting new space and we need your help!

Earth Explorers is a volunteer-run program to enable students to use the Garden as a classroom space. Environmentally based education has been shown to produce gains for students in science, social studies, language arts and mathematics. By engaging in hands-on investigations of the natural world students develop skills in problem solving, critical thinking and analysis. By connecting children to the natural world and real world activities, they improve in self-esteem and self-confidence. We want this for our children!

Can you help us with any of the following?

Earth Guardians : volunteers who support the physical development and growth of the garden. Green fingers are not a requirement! While students will be actively engaged in planting and growing in the garden, volunteers support this process. This is particularly true during the summer months when crops and produce planted in the spring will become a valuable teaching tool at the beginning of the school year. We hope to have two Earth Guardians for each grade. Volunteers attend a one hour orientation session. Volunteer service can take place outside school hours.

Earth Guides : volunteers who help provide outdoor education to our students through active engagement in well designed, nationally recognized curriculum. Earth Guides do not need any specialized knowledge or skills. Only curiosity, an appreciation for the natural world, and a desire to help children learn. Our initial goal is to meet with all students once a season for an hour long on-site field trip. Volunteers attend a two hour training session at the beginning of the school year, or beginning of the calendar new year. Volunteers need to be available during school hours.

Earth Angels provide in-kind and monetary donations to the Garden We are very lucky to have an excellent start to our garden. Family, friends, community businesses, and local granting agencies have provided substantial suppor to get us to this point. However, there are some items that would enhance the garden's potential for education, but which lie outside the school budget.

Volunteer Sign Up Sheet

Please sign and return to your child's teacher.

  • Name:

  • Phone:

  • Email:

Call or email Sue for more information: 646-9973 / carowatts@gmail.com

  • Earth Guardian - I am available- days & times

  • Earth Guide - I am interested in being a guide for grade (s) :

  • Please check one or more

5K – Sensory Garden

Sensory Walks

2nd – Butterfly Garden

Habitats: Monarch Watch

4th– Columbian Exchange

Social Studies Programs

1st – Rainbow Garden

Seasonal planting and growing activities.

3rd– Carolina Fence Grdn

Habitat: Cornell Feeder Watch.

5th Grade – Aquatic Life

Project Wild - Aquatic

6th Grade -Circle Grdn

Project Wild.

  • EarthAngel

I would like to donate

I would like to purchase

Magnifying lens (25) - $30.00

Bird Bath $25 each


Clipboards (25) - $125

Sit-upons – (25) - $125

Bird Feeders $15 each

Plants – Please think of us when you divide your perennials this winter.

Bug box (10) - $20

Bird House $15 each

Small trees/shrubs

Butterfly nets (5) - $75

Bird seed $10

General fund - maintenance

Binoculars (6) - $120

We are also looking for sections of trees to be used as seating and as teaching tools. If you have recently felled a tree, please think of us.

This is only a partial list and prices are approximate.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

There is a pond!!!!

I can't believe it - there is now a pond for the 5th and 6th grades to study aquatic life! It was an amazing thing to watch. Five or six students from Dr. Dobbins class and about 70 of the most excited PES students I have ever seen. The students worked together to carry landscape timbers from the truck to the site, volunteered extremely enthusiastically to dig and generally had a grand time! . I didn't get to watch the whole process - I was planting bulbs with a first grade class - but it was incredible. In less than 2 hours there was a pond there - filled with water and ready to go. Pictures will follow and more details about the donating class but for right now THANK YOU -
Clemson students and Dr. Dobbins.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Magical moments

I haven't been up in the garden for several weeks because of sickness, weather and such - but yesterday I got to go and check out progress. Things were doing quite well - perennials blooming, annuals setting seed and the cool weather vegetables looking happy. I was out there about 5 minutes and about six young women came running up to me- "Can we help? Can we help?" I was a bit at a loss cause I was just piddling. "How about the bird feeders?" they asked and went off to fil them straight away. While they were doing that I dug up some strawberries that had crept from their pots into what will be the pond. Imagine a strawberry plant in a hunk of Carolina clay - not so appealing. Here was there unanimous response- "Can I hold it?" They almost reverentially passed it down the line. Magic.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Learning more ...

Last week I was fortunate enough to go to an Outdoor Classroom Symposium. I learned a great deal - not least that our project is moving along really well. We have some key problems - which are shared by many school gardens -
1. Encouraging teachers to take their students outside to teach.
2. Providing for on-going maintenance of the garden.
3. Ensuring the survival of the garden over the summer.

The conference has inspired me to think concretely about these issues - so look for some new development in the near future. If y'all have any ideas let me know.

Community Support

Community support is essential to our garden. Nancy Hellams has done a wonderful job of supporting this project from it's inception and now has created a lense on Squidoo about the project- check it out.