Started in 2016, Sedgwick Elementary School Good Foods school garden grows vegetables. herbs, flowers and ornamentals plus has fruit trees, a greenhouse and composting program! Their cafeteria uses produce grown in the school garden and they conduct cooking and taste testing in their classroom.
In 2021 the existing greenhouse at Sedgwick Elementary had fallen into disrepair so inspired teachers decided to rejuvenate and expand their school garden program by obtaining grant funding to bring it back to life. Teachers at Sedgwick Elementary School recognized that when that proclivity is combined with school-aged students’ curiosity about the world in which they live, it creates opportunities to use an existing 2,700-square-foot greenhouse to teach science, math and skills related to gardening and agriculture, said Sarah Doremus, science, technology, art and mathematics teacher.
The school’s greenhouse program was awarded two COVID-related grants totaling $3,650, which Doremus said will be used to repair and improve the structure and purchase supplies needed to incorporate the program into the curriculum.
Read the entire article here: Elementary greenhouse program awarded $3,650 in COVID grant!]
The Maine SNAP-Ed Nutrition Education Team knows that introducing kids to a variety of fresh, nutritious, and yummy foods – and basic home-gardening skills – at an early age can help them to develop healthy eating habits and set them on the path to a healthier and more vibrant life. Throughout the 2020-2021 academic year, Healthy Acadia Nutrition Educator Nicole Gurreri collaborated with faculty and staff at Sedgwick Elementary School to offer their pre-K, first-, second-, and third-grade students virtual nutrition education lessons.
Once the school year ended, she continued working with students from the Sedgwick School during the summer of 2021 through their summer school program, offering a “Cooking Matters to Kids” program for ten summer school participants.
Gurreri has also been working closely with the school principal and several teachers to revitalize their school garden program. “I love working with Sedgwick Elementary students and teachers, said Gurreri. “It’s a small, tight-knit community and they work hard to make their school an inclusive and inspiring place!”
Currently the school has a goal to add indigenous plants to their pollinator garden and they are collaborating with Ann Pollard-Ranco, a citizen of the Penobscot Nation, and the Blue Hill Heritage Trust on projects that will benefit wildlife around the school called Forest Days.
Kkwey kkwey! Hello! Ann Pollard-Ranco is a citizen of the Penobscot Nation. Her ancestors called the Blue Hill Peninsula and islands home for thousands of years. She grew up near Indian Island, the Penobscot reservation in Old Town and is very excited to be one of the first Penobscots to return to their coastal ancestral places. Ann and her mom Kathy Pollard work with conservation organizations and other landowners to help them better understand the habitat they are protecting from a Native American perspective. They want to help increase food abundance for All Our Relations — all who call this place home, including all the animals!
They are very excited to be working on creating a pollinator garden on school grounds and recently students participated in a tree seed planting workshop! One of the tree species they are growing is white oak, which is a valuable tree for insects and wildlife. They once were plentiful on the Peninsula, but most were cut down in colonial times and used in barrel making. By growing new white oak trees and improving habitat with other food producing plants, students are helping ensure deer, bears, birds, insects, squirrels, and so many more have enough food!
Here are some posts about the Forest Days project from the Blue Hill Heritage Trust Facebook page
- At Sedgwick Elementary School Forest Days the Blue Hill Heritage Trust was very busy investigating the waking world as spring approaches, finding sleepy caterpillars under rocks, meadow vole tunnels in the grass as snow recedes, exploring pussy willows through propagation, story, song, and craft, and making bird feeders for birds returning from the south. Students have also problem solved how to climb the giant boulder in their outdoor classroom! This is a great accomplishment for Forest Days pre-K as they have been trying all year! Last week they found a large branch that worked as a ladder and they made it to the top! Yay!
- Forest Days continues through the winter at Sedgwick Elementary School with animal tracking, plant identification, snow sculptures and play, warm tea, songs and games. We found a beautiful nest hanging in a beaked hazel bush and we also gathered fuel for our first campfire! During the cold-snap indoors students listened to a story about How Rabbits Got White Fur in Winter, followed by a discussion about winter animal adaptations. We also practiced moving like animals down the hallway. Mrs. Haskell’s Class is keeping track of temperature and weather on their calendar and learning how to read a thermometer while experiencing what it takes to stay warm outdoors themselves for two hours each week!
Want to know more?!
- Email: Mickie Flores firstname.lastname@example.org
- Check out the Sedgwick Elementary Garden Directory listing
- Check out the Sedgwick Elementary School Facebook page
- Interested in nutrition education lessons for your students? Contact SNAP-Ed!
- Check out the Blue Hill Heritage Trust Facebook page
- Learn more about the Penobscot Nation