Buncombe County Extension master gardener volunteers celebrate 15 years funding school garden grants

Press release from Buncombe County Extension:

“We Grow Gardeners!” Since 2007, this has been the mission of the Buncombe County Extension Master Gardener Volunteers (BCEMGV) and their School Garden Grants Program. Over the years, approximately $50,000 have been awarded to sixty-one Ashville City and Buncombe County Schools and YMCA after school programs. The 2022 recipients include: Dickson Elementary/Lucy Herring Elementary, Enka Middle, Hall Fletcher Elementary, Hominy Valley Elementary, Johnston Elementary, Owen High, The Verner Center (West), and W.D. Williams Elementary.

“These school gardens grow more than plants. They grow imagination and creativity. They make math and science come alive, and they build community,” said Myra Fuller, chair of the 2022 Youth Outreach and School Grants Committee.

A prime example is Pisgah Elementary School where teachers and students created age-appropriate quilt gardens that became home to bulbs, annuals and edibles. In addition to teaching the children in grades K-4 about plants and plant-related vocabulary, the gardens enhanced classroom instruction in math, science and history. Kindergarteners learned about worms while third graders learned the practical applications of fractions.

At Hall Fletcher School, an enterprising teacher has used the school grants to build a greenhouse with a hydroponic garden where students grow native plants and edibles. Tomato seedlings are sold to parents, and at the end of the year, the students treat school staff to a luncheon featuring produce from their garden.

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