GODFREY — Earth Day marks an annual spring holiday featuring events that promote environmental sustainability.
Even though this year’s Earth Day was too blustery to feel like spring, it didn’t stop Green Team students at North Elementary School from doing their part.
The team celebrated the day by launching a community garden on the school grounds. The team consists of 30 students from kindergarten to fifth grade who meet once a month to plan projects and events that serve the environment.
The ringleader of the project, fourth-grade teacher Jennifer Herring, said the garden is a good learning tool, teaching students not only how to garden, but the importance of it.
“All the produce from the garden will go to the Crisis Food Center,” Herring said. “Not only do the kids get to learn where food comes from, but how to give back.”
In attendance were the Lorax, played by second- and third-grade co-teacher Teresa Polette; and Lowe’s Pro Services Specialist Bob Russell.
The garden was made possible by a $5,000 grant from Lowe’s, which provided materials for the garden boxes constructed by the school district. Two $1,200 grants were provided by Madison County through the Planning and Development Department and Green Schools Coordinator Kim Petzing. These help fund transportation for students who stay after school to participate in Green Team activities and fund two field trips. Lewis and Clark Community College donated the plants.
Assistant Principal Ann McClaughlin said the school is excited to start the garden in the hopes of growing fresh produce. She said this project gave students the opportunity to learn about plants by watching them develop firsthand in the classroom and watching them grow in the gardens outside, an experience they otherwise might not have.