Thanks to the wonderful folks at Burpee Home Gardens and their 2011 “I Can Grow” Youth Garden Award Program, West End IB World School in Nashville, Tennessee was given the opportunity to transform a patch of grass into an outdoor classroom and garden filled with vegetables and herbs.
For quite some time, the teachers, students and parents at West End IB World School have envisioned a classroom where there are no walls, no ceiling and no limits to learning opportunities. Thanks to Burpee Home Gardens, this vision is now a reality!
On April 28, our fifth and sixth graders, along with Burpee Home Gardens installation team members, planted over 250 vegetables and herbs in 17 4 x 4 raised beds! This garden is a vital component of our Outdoor Classroom and Garden Project. The students, teachers and parents have worked closely with Jeffrey Orkin and Cliff Jones of Landscape Solutions in Nashville to come up with a design that will offer our students creative, hands-on learning opportunities that aren’t available to them in their regular classrooms.
How do you engage over 400 middle school students and teach them about our environment, sustainability, resource conservation, healthy eating habits, and the importance of community and service? According to teachers Mary Katherine Stone and Erick Olmstead, you take them outside to the garden and you get them digging in the dirt and learning about the world around them. The Garden is an excellent tool to teach across the curriculum — from science to math, humanities to language arts, physical education to visual arts. In the garden, our students will connect with their natural world in a stress-free environment in which they can wonder, inquire, explore, communicate, think and reflect.
What started as a rain garden to alleviate a drainage problem on campus has turned into an Outdoor Classroom and Garden Project. In addition to the raised beds filled with Burpee Home Garden veggies and herbs, our Outdoor Classroom and Garden will include a variety of gardens, certified wildlife habitats, a composting site, fruit tree orchard, tree nursery, a weather station and an art garden.
Check out the before and after photos of the garden below, and be sure to stay tuned for more about the Burpee Planting Day at West End IB World School. We’ll have many great photos and videos to post! ~ Julie Prince
"Before" images of the West End IB World School grounds.
The crew of Landscape Solutions in Nashville helped design and build the 17 raised garden beds.
The beds were built on-site. Students and faculty helped where they could: preparing the ground, adding soil, etc.
After placing them in a sunny location, the beds stand ready for filling!
A job well done! The beds are ready for the installation of more than 275 vegetable and herb plants from Burpee Home Gardens.