Whitefoord ES students join water-works dedication at Southeastern Horticultural Society’s Community Learning Garden at Edgewood

After more than a day of rainfall, on Nov. 12 the sun came out and three classes from Whitefoord Elementary School gathered at the Southeastern Horticultural Society’s (SEHS) Community Learning Garden at Edgewood to celebrate the installation of a rain water harvest system. Classes enjoyed garden, craft, and nutrition workshops, as well as a fresh lunch from Whole Foods Market, and learned about the new rainwater harvest system that is being installed in the Edgewood Garden.

(Learn more about the garden through stories here and here and a photo gallery from the summer installation here.)

The system uses a drain placed in the paved areas of the garden as well as the roof of a pergola that is being built out of repurposed utility poles and highway signs to catch rainfall and send it into a buried 1,700 gallon water tank. A manual pump will be installed so that the rainwater can be used to water the garden. Last week’s rainfall completely filled the tank just from the driveway drain!

Whitefoord students were excited to learn about how the garden will conserve water, and to participate in the fun activities. This event, as well as the rainwater harvest system, was sponsored by Organic Gardening magazine.

“The garden felt really alive today, with students playing with worms, making art, blending smoothies, and learning about water conservation,” said Kyla Zaro-Moore (pictured above, far right), SEHS’  education coordinator for the garden. “I’m looking forward to more and more classes coming through the garden, expanding the walls of the classrooms.”

Whitefoord fifth-grade teacher Carmen Byrd believes the garden will be a major asset to the community, and pointed out how her students were able to apply their gardening vocabulary and to see how everything works. “My students were really excited to see how the water pump will work but were more anxious to get their hands all dirty identifying creatures in the soil while creating the compost,” Byrd said. She added that four of theirstudents were so thrilled about the experience that they decided to complete their One Academic Fair project on the community garden. The entitled project “Edgewood Community Garden … How Effective Is It?” will analyze its purpose, working components, and draw conclusions on how it is positively affecting the community.

The judging will be held Tuesday, Dec. 1.

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