Pelican Elementary School begins planting new school gardenSubmitted: 06/02/2015
RHINELANDER - With the weather getting warmer, a lot of students will spend those last few days of the school year outdoors. One Northwoods elementary school will try to be exceptionally productive with its time outside.

Amy Rogers' third grade class at Pelican Elementary School in Rhinelander, along with several other classes, has been hard at work on its new school garden. The school was able to plant the garden thanks to a grant from Oneida County.

"I think gardening is really awesome because you can get outside, fresh air, exercise," said Rogers. "I was reading a local newspaper, and there was an advertisement stating the L.E.A.N. grant, Linking Education, Activity, and Nutrition, through the Health Department of Oneida County, and I thought that's perfect to jump at it." 

The grant gave $1,500 to the Pelican Elementary School to get the garden started. Teachers bought plants and supplies with that money. Rogers says that the garden has extended the learning experience for the kids.

"I was involved with a garden in the past before at a school, and I thought this is a perfect opportunity," Rogers said. "We talk about math, measuring, division, multiplication, just to name a few. I mean it's endless."

The students get to be hands-on with the planting, and teachers hope that the students appreciate what they grow.

"I hope they see the whole garden process along the way, and then maybe even try a new food, a new fruit or vegetable," Rogers said. "Just an understanding of just--learning about where that food comes from that's on their plate. And then in the fall, we're hoping to have some kind of taste testing with all the different kinds of vegetables and fruits that we are harvesting."

The garden will be maintained by volunteers throughout the summer. Some of the food grown at the garden will be used for a school-wide taste test this fall, and students will have the chance to take home some of what they harvest.

Story By: Anthony Bruno

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