Photos courtesy Blaire Lennane
When some of the parents at Dorris Place Elementary asked employees at the nearby Home Depot for help reviving the school garden, they were expecting some packs of flowers or maybe bags of fertilizer. Instead, the Elysian Valley school got an entire new garden, complete with raised planters, benches, fencing as well as plants. A crew of Home Depot workers and school volunteers spent three days last week building the new garden at along Riverside Drive, said Blaire Lennane, president of the Partners of Dorris, a school support group. The result, which looks as if a tiny version of a Home Depot garden center was dropped into the corner of the school playground, was opened to students on Friday so they could plant strawberries, chilies and herbs while receiving a brief lesson in botany and plant care. “It’s amazing,” said Lennane. “It’s not what we expected.”
Given tight school budgets, it will be up to the parents and volunteers to water and maintain the garden. Some of the teachers expressed interest in using the garden to complement lessons the curriculum, said Lennane.
The kids too are are also expected to take part in garden care. In order for the students to take ownership of the garden and plants, small groups of kids were involved in planting, watering and naming individual plants. As an added bonus, the students were told they could get dirty, Lennane said. “The kids were crazy excited.”