Monday, August 31, 2009

Children and Education at Hazel Heights P-Patch

Children and students have already been actively involved at the site, and will be involved again this fall when the construction is complete.

In addition, the larger community will benefit from the demonstration rainwater harvesting system, as well as programs on composting and master gardening.

Photos of neighborhood children at community potlucks at the p-patch.

School Involvement:
Hazel Heights offers an opportunity for students to learn about gardening, nutrition, their community, and green space. The view and natural environment of the site provide opportunities for learning about our beautiful natural geography, city topography, and native flora and fauna. Two public elementary schools are within walking distance to the site. B.F. Day is looking forward to partnering with the project once the garden is established. West Woodland Elementary is one mile away and will be invited to become involved with the garden. Many neighbors send their children to West Woodland and B.F. Day, as they are the reference schools for the neighborhood.

Pacific Crest Montessori –
Pacifci Crest Montessori is a Pre-K through Eight private school within walking distance to the garden. Pacific Crest students explore the neighborhood and community as part of their curriculum, as well as the environment. This will be a walk-to destination for some students. The head of the school is eager to partner once the garden is established.

Billings Middle School –

Middle school students eradicated invasive plants and stabilized slopes in a yearlong service project. Hazel Heights hopes to continue a relationship with the school once the garden is established.

Service Learning Opportunities:
Gardening the Patch for the food bank – Volunteers will maintain one plot for our food bank partner Lettuce Link. All produce harvested from that plot will go to underserved neighbors. Additionally, extra produce from the other plots can be donated to Lettuce Link. A training session will be held to instruct growers about which foods best fit the needs of food bank clients. Food security is on the minds of many friends and neighbors in the community and being able to meet their needs is critical.

Teaching Opportunities:
Hazel Heights P-Patch will serve as an educational outlet for all neighbors, not just those who have a garden plot. Master Gardening and composting classes will be offered to instruct neighbors on best practices and soil building.

Seattle Tilth and Master Gardeners will assist the community in establishing a garden and teach best practices.

Master Composters will train our gardeners and neighbors on how to compost and build soil.

Water conservation demonstration project – drought-tolerant plants, composting, drip irrigation system.

Rainwater catchment system involving two neighboring houses –
The site will have an innovative 8,000-gallon underground rainwater cistern to hold runoff from two neighboring houses. Signs and display boards will explain the project.

Honeybee project –
A neighbor has expressed interest in having a bee demonstration project in the garden. She has established hives and a successful honey business. The former property owner, Don Hurlburt, was the apiarist for the Arboretum.

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