A School Garden Loaded With Thought
Bell School parents, teachers and administrators have a vision of planting vegetables, herbs, flowers and ideas for children to learn.
This pizza garden will be loaded.
In fact, it'll be more than loaded. It will be topped and surrounded with the ingredients that make for learning.
When the K-3 Bell School kids step out the door at the back of their school and into their new organic garden this spring they will see tomatoes, basil, oregano, onions and peppers planted in a circular plot.
The school's 370 or so students will see a new 100-foot corridor stripped of asphalt and cleared of brush opening a new view on ledge ripe for ground cover plantings.
The children will be growing, too.
Growing through art, music, biology, math, geometry, literature and history.
The peaceful place is ideal for small concerts and sketching, for gathering and charting data, for reading poetry, for learning the history of agriculture and the science of health.
That's the vision of parents Jean Skaane and Catherine Martin and teachers including Lee-Anne Fairbanks at the Baldwin Road school.
Catherine, a landscape designer with DeVellis Zrein Inc., volunteered her skills and designed the garden with education in mind.
Her plan includes 5,000 square feet, with 1,200 square feet of working space between the rear of the Upper Bell School and the school’s property line.
Jean started gardening with her children years ago and last summer broached the idea of a Bell School garden with the school's principal, Donna Zaeske.
The principal, whose parents were Wisconsin farmers, adores the idea.
On Monday, standing in the snow-dotted space that will within months sprout greenery, the principal said she has a hard time curbing her enthusiasm when she imagines the garden project taking shape.
The project took a giant step forward last week when organizers got a unanimous endorsement from the School Committee. The superintendent is behind it foursquare, too, the moms said.
Teachers have committed to helping with the garden and using it in instruction. Special education teachers in particular are excited about the sensory possibilities and quiet space the garden will offer their students.
Organizers have applied for grants and are seeking the public's help.
The help they hope for would come through donations and volunteering. They hope local contractors will be willing to help, too.
Anyone interested in lending the project a hand can email Jean for information: Skaane@comcast.net
This is an ambitious garden. It will grow this spring.
A garden to be sowed with seeds of knowledge and harvesting the same.