wellington hEastern Iowa Life

Taylor Principal Brian Christoffersen said the greenhouse also is used in science class and before- and after-school clubs.

– Three schools already have a school garden

autumn allen, Brucemore, Cedar Rapids, David Morton, rm to school, Four Oaks Bridge, gardens, Iowa, Iowa City, Johnson County Local Food Alliance, longfellow, Matt Fee, Matthew 25, students, Taylor Elementary

Fee said students will plant the seedlings in one of the historic estates gardens, help tend the plants and harvest the vegetables to take home to their milies or share with friends at the Bridge.

The youths will plant and tend a community garden close to their homes in the Wellington Heights neighborhood.

Local and national leaders all the way to Michelle Obama in the White House want children to make better food choices, in part, to combat an obesity epidemic.

While each of the schools is working on their garden independently, the Farm to School

Community School District.

Three existing gardens are getting ready for spring as well at Tate High, Hills Elementary, and Grant Wood Elementary/Fairmeadow Park. Each of the school garden projects is being led by dedicated teachers, staff, parents, and students. Coralville Central Elementary will have a school-wide garden build day on April 22. Kirkwood Elementary will have a similar activity on April 23, to coincide with Earth Day celebrations. At Kirkwood Elementary, Reclaiming Roots ( will be helping build the garden

Nine-year-old Damon Rector (center,) a third-grader at Taylor Elementary School in Cedar Rapids, selects seeds to plant with the help of Brucemore gardener David Morton on April 6, at the Brucemore greenhouse in Cedar Rapids. Damon is in the Brucemore-Bridge Gardening Club along with other students from the Four Oaks Bridge in Cedar Rapids. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

Brucemore gardener David Morton and April Kamp-Whittaker, Brucemore director of learning and museum projects, have another project with students from Jane Boyd Community House.

Eastern Iowa schools participating include West Liberty Elementary School; Muscatine Community School District and Hiawatha Elementary School.

Damon may be more open to consuming veggies than some youths.

More than a dozen youths in the after-school program, including Damon, have planted seeds in the greenhouse at Brucemore, 2160 Linden Dr. SE.

I really feel like were coming into this at the right time, Matt Fee, youth development coordinator at Four Oaks Bridge in Cedar Rapids, said of the Brucemore-Bridge Gardening Club.

That includes raised garden beds, a trail, butterfly garden and a Nature Explore Classroom that is under development at the school.

Teachers are looking forward to incorporating gardens into the lessons that they are already

teaching. Autumn Allen, a paraeducator at Kirkwood Elementary says, There are so many

Three existing gardens are getting ready for spring, as well, at Tate High, Hills Elementary and Grant Wood Elementary/Fairmeadow Park.

their own seeds, watch the plants grow, and in the ll, taste fresh produce straight from the

Coralville Central Elementary, Kirkwood Elementary, West High and Longfellow Elementary are starting edible gardens. Penn Elementary is building a greenhouse as part of a collaboration with Cargill and Johnson County 4-H.

The ICCSD school garden projects are just some of the school gardens in the Iowa City area. There are also gardens at Willowwind School, the University of Iowa, plus a new garden is planned for the Iowa City Kirkwood Community College campus.

Iowa is one of four states that will develop the $1 million, federally funded pilot, which explores the impact of school gardens on learning and changing student consumption patterns to make healthier food choices.

To do that, a growing number of schools and organizations, including many in Eastern Iowa, are teaching children where their food comes from through a variety of gardening projects.

garden, says Heather Widmayer, ICCSD Farm to School Coordinator.

Students Kate Wolfe (front) and Lucy Janssen, at Longfellow Elementary School in Iowa City, plant seeds in the school’s new raised garden beds. A growing number of Eastern Iowa schools and organizations are working to get students involved in gardening. (Photo/ Brandi Janssen)

– Three schools are interested in learning more about school gardens.

– Tate students grow (12) 12 x 6 beds of perennial and annual edible plants.

Other gardening programs have sprouted in the area, including several in the Iowa City

Statewide, 20 schools will join in a Healthy Gardens, Healthy Youth pilot with Iowa State University Extension.

Of course I would, the Cedar Rapids Taylor Elementary third-grader replies, when asked if he will eat the fruits of his labor. Ill eat anything.

Matthew 25 helped finish a greenhouse that sits at the back of the school, 720 Seventh Ave. SW, and provided seeds and supplies for the girls to start vegetables to plant at the groups urban rm.

Cutline: Brucemore gardener David Morton and April Kamp-Whittaker, director of learning and museum projects at Brucemore, help Jade Cole, 8, a third-grader at Polk Elementary School in Cedar Rapids, with her seed selection. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

involve teachers, staff, students, community groups and businesses.

– Four schools are interested in building a garden within 1-3 years

Autumn Allen, a Kirkwood Elementary paraeducator, said teachers will incorporate gardens into their lessons, from math, science and environmental classes, to inspiration for writing, history and art assignments.

IOWA CITY &8211; The ICCSD Farm to School Chapter, a project of the Johnson County Local Food Alliance, announced that four new edible gardewellington house eastern healthns and a greenhouse project are getting started this spring at schools in the Iowa City Community School District. Coralville Central Elementary, Kirkwood Elementary, West High, and Longfellow Elementary are starting edible gardens. Penn Elementary is building a greenhouse as part of a collaborative project with Cargill and Johnson County 4-H.

The districts Farm to School Chapter, a project of the Johnson County Local Food Alliance, provides resources for the projects, which

Next winter Farm to School will coordinate a workshop about school gardens to helpschools expand existing gardens, teach new school gardeners how to get started,Eastern Health and toshare ideas for the many ways school gardens provide educational opportunities for students.

School gardens give students an opportunity to learn how food is grown. They get to plant

Chapter will continue to provide resources for school gardens for the entire school district.

(from left) Trinity Cooper, Rhaelynne Smestad and Ashley Hartl move plants after watering at the greenhouse at Taylor Elementawellington hEastern Iowa Lifery School in Cedar Rapids on Thursday, April 14, 2011. The fourth graders are growing tomatoes, dill, basil, chives, califlower, spinach, sunflowers, cucumbers, thyme and broccoli with help from Matthew 25, which operates an urban garden in Cedar Rapids. (Cliff Jette/SourceMedia Group)

On September 24, 2011, school gardeners will share their experiences at a panel discussionduring the Johnson County Local Food Alliances Field to Family Festival.

Longfellow Elementary students Bella Wolfe (left) and Adeline Bradley, rake one of the school’s new raised garden beds. (Photo/Brandi Janssen)

– Four schools are interested in starting a garden this spring

Across town, non-profit Matthew 25 Ministry Hub, a ith-based group, has partnered with several fourth-graders at Taylor Elementary School who started a Friends of Change group.

Weve been doing quite a bit with helping kids reconnect with the outdoors and nature in general, he said.

ways the garden can be used in the classroom, from teaching math, science, and

This spring Farm to School will add a School Garden section to its Web site to sharestories about all the school gardens and to connect school gardeners with each other.

wellington hEastern Iowa Life,Nine-year-old Damon Rector rattles off the garden seeds hes planting this spring: peppers, tomatoes, cantaloupe and cucumbers.

environmental lessons, to providing inspiration for writing, history, and art assignments.

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