In December of 2012 Plymouth Congregational Church approached College Hill Elementary School staff with an idea to build a community garden on the school grounds. In addition to addressing issues of hunger and nutrition for at-risk children, the goal for this long-term program was to develop opportunities for teaching leadership and service skills to a new generation of young people, introducing elementary students to a hands-on science curriculum for growing food, promoting sustainable farming, cultivating a healthy environment, and teaching healthy eating and nutrition.
College Hill staff were very enthusiastic about the idea and all involved began looking for ways to fund the project. By the end of May 2012 the school had received three grants (Sodexo, United Way of the Plains, and Brown Trust) totaling over $8,000 and we were able to make the project a reality. Volunteers from Plymouth gathered on June 1, 2012 to construct four raised garden beds. Dirt was brought in the following week and between the Summer Latchkey children from College Hill and the Vacation Bible School children from Plymouth, the garden beds were planted with tomatoes, squash, peppers, cucumbers, pumpkins, radishes, lettuce, and flowers. A garden shed and compost bins were added later that summer and two rain barrels were added in early 2014.
- The first season a total of 138.5 pounds of vegetables were picked and distributed to both College Hill students and the Kansas Food Bank.
- So far this season 48 pounds of vegetables have been picked and distributed to College Hill students.
If you are interested in volunteering to assist with the garden contact Rev. Robu firstname.lastname@example.org
The College Hill PTO kicked off a fundraiser on August 8, 2014 at the Welcome Back Celebration to raise money for the Community Garden located on the south side of College Hill Elementary. The idea of the Community Garden is to utilize it as a learning tool for the students at College Hill.
The money raised will be used to add a brick walkway, fence, garden gate, and benches for the area. (See the rendering above, by Ryan Ott, MKEC Engineering).
In addition to general donations, there are 2,000 bricks available for purchase for the walkway. The cost is $25 per brick and it can be customized up to two lines with 12 characters per line.