GG’s Latest Dig: A new school garden!

Removing sod

After almost two years of thoughtful planning, phase I of the Shaver School/Community Garden in  Parkrose was installed last Saturday.  Students, parents, teachers, the custodian, the principal, the Schools Uniting Neighborhoods (SUN) staff, neighbors and Growing Gardens staff and volunteers built 8 raised beds and one disabled accessible bed.

Building the garden boxes

Filling the new beds

The garden was designed in 2010 with input from Shaver students who submitted ‘dream garden’ designs to the Shaver Garden Committee. The committee worked with Pete Cromwell a local landscape designer who turned the ideas into a working blueprint. The Garden Committee’s vision for the garden is to 1) be a ‘teaching place’ to meld hands-on activities with science and English Language Learning (ELL) instruction strategies; and 2) to be a food producing garden, integrating cooking & eating within the school to  increase food literacy and improve nutrition.

Students helping assemble the disabled accessible bed with the Growing Gardens Dawn of the Bed team

In preparation for the garden install, students and teachers have been growing edible plants in their classrooms to plant into the new beds and the after-school SUN/Youth Grow Garden club has been eagerly awaiting the new garden space –  growing garlic, collards, peas, broccoli, chard, radishes and lettuce in three existing beds.

Phase II of the garden includes installing an irrigation system to the beds, building a tool shed, compost and worm bins, an outdoor classroom space with picnic benches and adding pollinator and native plants.  In the meantime the school will cultivate student’s enthusiasm to tend and harvest the new beds.

The finished beds

Funding for supplies came  from: a grant from the Hardy Plant society,  donations from nearby Burgerville fundraising nights, and through donations raised by the Growing Gardens’ Dawn of the Bed team.  Parkrose Hardware, Portland Nursery, Mt Scott Fuel,  and Mr Plywood provided generous discounts on materials, and  Noah’s provided bagels for volunteers. Thank you Peter Cromwell who created the Shaver Garden landscape design.

Congratulations to the Shaver community on this exciting new garden program and to everyone who has helped make it grow!

For more information or to get involved contact the Shaver SUN program at (503) 408-2850.

photos by Caitlin Blethen


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