Monday, June 8, 2009

H.O.P.E. Garden at Pickens Elementary

Saturday May 30th I set off with my friend Rosa, and the SC Native Plant Society to visit the H.O.P.E. garden at Pickens Elementary.Rosa and I were not disappointed. This is how the alcove at the school looked before the gardens were built.Marge Moon and a small group of dedicated teachers took on the task of transforming this empty space into a beautiful place for children and teachers to learn. Here are some of the amazing features of this "living laboratory". The students dug a hole for three months and on one Saturday with parent volunteers and a donation from, Rainmaker Ponds and Irrigation, they created an alluring pond.

The H.O.P.E. garden is a recognized Monarch Way Station by Monarch Watch.
Students built this bat house and even made the benches in their classrooms.
The garden has a Sundial Bed made from the South Carolina state stone, the Blue Granite. Check this out!A dead tree was procured to house birds, insects, and hopefully an owl now and then.
The H.O.P.E. Garden features:
  • Butterfly Garden
  • Sundial Bed
  • Zeric Area
  • Pond and Stream
  • Woodland Area
  • Fern and Shrub Area
  • Meadow
  • Gullah Bottle Tree
  • Bird Baths
  • Bird Feeders
  • Nexting Platforms
  • Bat House
  • Student Made Benches and Picnic Tables
  • Over 160 Different Plants
  • Informative Signs
  • Rain Gauge
According to their brochure the students use the garden in many ways to supplement and strengthen learning in all areas of the S.C. State Standards. Having an onsite laboratory encourages inquiry based instruction and outdoor exploration. Many thanks to the ambitious teachers at Pickens Elementary and Marge Moon who took on this project, and the South Carolina Native Plant Society for organizing the tour. It was nothing short of amazing and has energized me to roll up my sleeves and start weeding and planting!

2 comments:

TuttleTime said...

Kids are so lucky now days to have places like this to go to...If I would have had this when I was a child, I wouldn't be so city slicker-ish. Oh well, there's hope for our kids. :)

Rachel said...

What a beautiful garden! I bet it was full of great ideas for your beautiful piece of nature too!