Three Elementary Schools Receive $250 Each For Gardening Grants
The Schoolyard Gardening Grant Program is off and running with eleven applicants this year. The applications came from all over San Diego County and each was unique and very well done. The Club's fundraising was successful this year and we were able to award a total of $750.
Our selection committee that consists of six club members (three of which are retired teachers) used the following criteria to evaluate the grant applications:
1. Does the project promote the creation of earth-friendly gardens/wildlife habitats that become the basis for a teaching curriculum focusing on earth-friendly gardening practices, local plant and wildlife study and nature appreciation?
The three schools that have been selected to receive $250 each are
La Jolla Elementary in La Jolla, Rolando Elementary in La Mesa Spring Valley and Grant Elementary in Hillcrest.
Grant Elementary School Native Plant Preserve and Trail is a canyon between the south side of Grant Elementary School and the north side of Washington Street. In its third year, students, teachers, parents and community members contribute their resources to make the canyon a place where the woodland, chaparral, desert and riparian species of San Diego plants are found. The Preserve provides a living history of the land, plants and animals that the Kumeyaay lived with before 1769, and a laboratory where teachers, with parents and community members, can educate children in numerous areas of social studies and science. The money received will be spent to purchase plant specimens native to San Diego. The Project Leader is Dave Martocchio, kindergarten teacher.
Rolando Elementary's garden will be 32' X 60' in size and features a beautiful mature oak tree to provide the backdrop for a low-water native chaparral habitat garden. They are using the guidelines developed by the National Wildlife Federation to create a schoolyard habitat that will support wildlife and diverse opportunities for active cross-curriculum learning. There will also be areas for short-term garden projects such as planting seeds, growing herbs and vegetables. Dawn Rucker is the Project Captain and will spend the funds on hardscape materials to create several raised beds and pathways that will make the habitat areas accessible to students with disabilities.
We appreciate the time and effort all eleven individuals spent on the grant application. And while we can't send all eleven financial support, each school will receive a notebook filled with gardening and grant resources compiled by the Committee. Thanks to all of you who have helped raise the money this year to make this program possible. We hope to make this a permanent project of the club. If you would like to know more about the program and how you can help, please see Ruth Barnett, Judy Holmes or Ann Zahner.