Anyone who has tried their hand at gardening knows that it can be a long and tedious process, especially in the beginning. From choosing plants, to tilling the soil, each step must be a labor of love to get on to the next. Well, this past fall ROCS took on such a project, and they did it with love, much consideration, and a whole lot of work.
Students measured the space, parents cleared the area of roots, then cardboard was collected and laid out to prep the space for planting.
With a Wildlife Education grant, earned from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, ROCS worked to add a native pollinator garden into their play area. Located on the side of a large field where honeysuckle and brush resided, now a perimeter of painted rocks edge a rectangular space full of about 40 native plants. They rest now this winter with hopes of supporting the local wildlife and bringing many learning opportunities to students of ROCS in the coming years.
Parents delivered plants purchased from Scioto Gardens and students cared for them while the garden was prepped.
Students, staff, and ROCS community volunteers undertook an array of tasks to bring this garden to life. Michelle McNabb, a ROCS educator, commandeered the project by applying for the grant, organizing the volunteer efforts, and dishing out tasks that would “engage students in the designing, preparing, and creating [of] a space in their play area to plant a garden.”
All the classes at ROCS took on tasks to prepare for this project – researching native plants and pollinators, measuring and laying out a space, decorating edging rocks and making wooden labels. Volunteers and students then cleared, and card boarded, tilled and composted. Finally, plants brought in from Scioto Gardens, were put neatly into their new homes by the hands of those who will so graciously care for them from now on. A newly donated rain barrel finished the process, and sits eagerly awaiting spring, when the kids at ROCS will wait in line with their watering cans, hope and anticipation in hand.
-Celeste Irving , ROCS parent