Built in 2021, the Connors School Garden was a result of a proposal by the Connors Farm to School Team, including Margaruette Seguin, the K-6 Garden Educator, with the backing of the collective school community. Designed by a landscape architect, this pristine school garden has the advantage of being created all at once in a designated space next door to classrooms as well as across from the beautiful state of the art playgrounds.
Connors School Garden offers gardening classes to over 700 students as a Unified Arts class with Margaruette coordinating garden lessons with input from the school’s Farm to School Team and teachers. Funded through Title 1, the project also benefits from community connections from St. Mary’s Nutrition Center, Lewiston Public Schools Nutrition Department, Good Shepard Food Bank, UMaine Cooperative Extension and Chirp Creek Farm.
Consisting of raised beds for the vegetable and herb garden, it’s surrounded by flowers, ornamental plants plus a small orchard. The circular Gathering Space provides a place to begin and end lessons with moveable benches. Tree stumps and stepping stones allow children to freely roam and enjoy the space.
In addition to the school garden, there is a wonderful walking trail around the school property that passes by a community orchard and then meanders through the woods offering yet another option for teachers to share nature and the great outdoors with their students.
For every school garden there is always a next step. Right now, Margaruette is on the lookout for the ideal place to locate her compost pile. Any suggestions?
This work would not be possible without the incredible support of the Connors Farm to School Team, which has included: Cari Hebert, Kindergarten Teacher; Meredith Northup, ELL Teacher; Peter Sharpley, Current Cafeteria Manager; Travis Jalbert, Vice Principal; Jeanne Smith, Former Cafeteria Manager; Calla Jewett, STEM Teacher; Rebecca Dugan, Former Children’s Programs Coordinator for the St. Mary’s Nutrition Center; Tobie Colgan, 1st Grade Parent; Michelle Richards, 2nd Grade Parent; Birdie D’Agostino, School Partnerships Coordinator for the St. Mary’s Nutrition Center; Eliza Guion, FoodCorps Service Member; Sumaya Sheikh, Former FoodCorps Service Member; and Maggie Simmonds, Former FoodCorps Service Member as well as countless other school community members who offer support in one way or another!
For more information, email Margaruette Seguin at firstname.lastname@example.org