Forest Glen students dare to go gardening

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 7, 2005

It was truly a win-win situation for Forest Glen Middle School Monday afternoon. Not only did the students get a hands-on lesson about plants and gardening, but the school got a free groundskeeping out of the deal!

As part of the school’s annual &uot;Dare to Grow&uot; day, students fixed up the grounds outside the school. New plants were put down and mulched, leaves were raked, and weeds were pulled and whacked. With products donated by such local business as Knotts Creek and R.W. Askew nurseries, students turned the front of their school into a treat for the eyes.

Allison Copeland doused the new plants with a hose.

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&uot;We learned about the hard work of gardening,&uot; said the eighth-grader. &uot;We dug the flowers and put mulch in to make them all pretty and give them their nutrients.&uot;

Rakes aren’t the best thing for putting down mulch, said Brian Gomer.

&uot;It’s better to use your hands,&uot; he said, straightening out a newly-planted bush, &uot;because you can even it out better.&uot;

But the day was about more than planting – after the kids got finished sharpening their skills and planting tools, they headed over to the field nearby for a day of fun, complete with a rock-climbing wall, obstacle course, concession stand, face painting, and a chance to dunk a teacher into a tub of water.

&uot;I got to work with my friends and plant the flowers,&uot; said Lesley Miles, cooling off in the shade. &uot;I like gardening at my grandmother’s house in Portsmouth. This is going to help me get better about pulling weeds!&uot;

She’s not the only one.

&uot;We learned that teamwork helps flowers look better,&uot; said Miriam Weirich. &uot;When we all helped, it was easier to plant the flowers than if we’d done it ourselves.&uot;

Over at the mini-carnival, instructor Tara Worley watched her students wind down the 2004-05 school year.

&uot;We do this as a reward for the kids,&uot; Worley said, &uot;and we cross it over into a day for the environment. The kids get to have fun, and they get to take pride in their school.&uot;