Thursday, June 12, 2014

iDig2Learn Gardening Program at P.S./I.S. 217 (Roosevelt Island School)

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On July 11th P.S./I.S.217 students had a great time planting at the Environmental Learning Youth Center as part of iDig2Learn, a gardening program sponsored by the PTA. This year, iDig2Learn focused on observation. Journals were used to collect data on weather conditions and temperature, plant growth, insect evaluation and overall inspection of vegetables and flowers. Then massive planting ensued! The students loved the new seating area under the Linden tree and the new and improved stone pathway.

In May, P.S./I.S. 217 students visited the Roosevelt Island Community Garden. Sande and Mitch Elinson, RI Community Garden co-secretaries, and Ron Schuppert hosted the students’ inspiration tour. The children and grown ups had an absolute BLAST!!! They saw azaleas, lettuce, tulips, phlox, fish, frogs, the pond, snails and a goose too! Children selected their favorite photo of a flower and described what they liked about it. One student said he liked the rose because it was the flower of love. They toured the entire garden and found plants they knew.

Co-secretary Sande spoke about the origin of the garden and how it was just dirt until the community wanted to make it a garden. Now over 130 people have garden plots to create whatever they can dream up. Each student spoke about what plants need to survive - water, sunlight, soil, nutrients, earthworms and even TLC (just like many living things). We saw gardens that were just dirt and needed inspiration, we saw gardens with many weeds, we saw gardens that were beautiful with little sculptures and places to sit.

The Roosevelt Island Community Garden Club was happy to host the school and likes the idea of children getting up close and personal with nature. They reminded everyone that the garden is open on weekends and children are welcome to return with a grown up throughout the season.

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