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“Because Your Children Live What They Learn…”

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Here are some meaningful plant selections to incorporate into your peace garden:

Rhododendron - in Russia, the blossoms signify peace, health, and purity

Mistletoe - in Scandinavia, associated with Frigga, the goddess of love

White pine tree - for the Native American Haudenosaunee, or Six Nations Peoples, the five needles joined together indicate unity

Peace Rose - a rose variety introduced in 1945 to commemorate the end of World War II

Sunflowers - a symbol of freedom from the threat of nuclear weapons during the 1990s. Sunflowers are warm and welcoming; grow in friendly crowds; and produce nutritious seeds for people and wildlife.

Cosmos - named after the Greek word for well-ordered universe; symbolizes peace and order

Education in the garden is a great way to teach kids to live responsibly and peacefully.This philosophy, from the creator of Playschool Child Care, Inc., Carol Acosta, is what continues to guide the program more than 25 years later.

Teaching Kids about Water Conservation

Did you know there is as much water in the world today as there was millions of years ago? Actually, it is the very same water recycled through the hydrologic cycle. The water you drink or use in your garden today may contain the same molecules our ancestors or even the DINOSAURS once drank.

Growing BIG in the Great Outdoors

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Bonnie Plants’ Third Grade Cabbage Program is a free program offered to third grade classrooms nationwide. The purpose is to support youth to eat healthy and be garden advocates. To support this purpose, Bonnie Plants offers resources online to help students grow their cabbage. In addition, lesson ideas and recipes are provided along with help for teachers and parents. Visit the Bonnie Plants Cabbage Program website for more details about registration.

You can also view a complete list of the Third Grade Cabbage Program scholarship winners for 2011 for each state. 

Being outside has so much to offer; whether you are a gardener or not, there is a place for you in the Great Outdoors. Each year, thousands of third graders nationwide find a special place outside by participating in a program which challenges them to grow an oversized cabbage.

Compost Happens

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Jean shares some of her ideas to get kids interested in composting:

  • Ask students what happens to blue jeans and t-shirts in the landfills? Can they be composted?
  • Ask for an old cotton t-shirt and/or an old pair of jeans to be donated. Place them at the bottom of the compost pile, or use a smaller piece for a worm bin. Do the students realize they are wearing plants? How long will it take to break down? Have students make guesses as to what will happen to these old clothes.
  • Do you have multiple working compost bins at school? Have a t-shirt composting race with another class. Which class will have a faster compost pile? What causes one compost bin to decompose materials faster than the other? Was one pile being turned more than the other? Take the temperature inside the pile. Is one pile hotter than the other?
  • Consider doing an experiment with a piece of a t-shirt in one pile and a plastic bottle in another. Let the students predict what will happen.

As the wife of an active duty Marine, Jean Persely has made the most of her frequent moves by teaching others to “bloom where they are planted.” Jean has committed to making a positive impact on any community she joins. It was in 2005, that Jean developed a vision to impact a school community by planning the introduction of a garden.

Cleaning Indoor Air with Plants

So it’s the winter season, and my kids and I have been thinking about purchasing some new indoor plants to spruce up the house. Of course instead of having another typical plant shopping trip, I begin thinking about how to make this experience adventurous and educational! This is when I remembered a past article, by Charlie Nardozzi, about a study conducted between NASA and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America (ALCA).

Creating Your Own Children’s Garden

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Are you looking for an indoor activity for the garden? Download these simple instructions to create signs for indoor and outdoor gardens.

Here is a geography lesson for grades 3-5 to introduce the topics of longitude and latitude as they relate to botanical gardens. Download Where in the World???

Think back to your childhood. Can you remember any interactions with plants or a garden that made an impression on you? I can remember the first time I learned about snapdragons. I was at my grandmother’s house and my mom showed me how you can pinch the sides of the bloom to cause the flower to open and close, which looked like a dragon mouth. I was in awe that a plant could do this. Another time I “discovered” the softness of lamb’s ear. The amazement that a plant’s leaves could feel so soft was a memory that remains with me today.

How to Make a Giant Holiday Wreath

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Supply List

  • Two ½ inch x 8 ft electrical PVC conduit
  • Four 1 ½ inch electrical U-shaped clamps
  • Spool of Garden Twine
  • Deciduous and evergreen cuttings from the yard
  • Suggestions include: Hemlock, taxus, redtwig dogwood, winterberry and pine.

Assembling two ½ inch electrical conduit pipes will create a 7-foot diameter wreath.

Homeschool Cooperative Gardening Class

The Nature Detectives

“Today’s child is more familiar with the drive-thru menu than the garden.” This belief is what led Suellen Mullins of DeSoto, Texas, to begin one of the only known homeschool cooperative gardening programs in Texas.

Fall Family Garden and Nature Activities

For many children, the fall season is one of the most engaging outdoor times of the year. Don’t miss out! Be sure to get your children out of the house and involve them with nature this season.

Becoming a Horticulture Therapist: From Hobby to Career

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Discover NGA's Career Connections

Read short bios from each NGA staff member, find out what led them into their careers, and why gardening and connecting with nature is important. Read more »

After spending 20 years as an independent contractor for numerous companies, Lisa Lindmark has found her “best job” as a horticulture instructor at a 600+ patient mental health hospital.

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Last updated on 04/24/2014
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