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Larry Keyes – IT Director

It is hard to top the excitement of watching the transformation of a schoolyard through the installation of a school garden. The KidsGardening staff just returned from a trip to the Chicago area where we worked with our corporate sponsor, PT Holdings, to build a school garden on the grounds of Army Trail Elementary School in Addison, Illinois. Along with 120 eager volunteers, we transformed an outdoor classroom space by adding raised beds for flowering plants, vegetables, a sensory garden, and a pollinator garden along with new benches, a storage shed, and composters.

Before:

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After:

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PTGarden2016_WM-0190Along with building and assembling all of the structures, we also planted close to 150 plants, including perennials, annuals and vegetable starts. An additional 50 plants will be installed by students this week following a formal garden dedication at the school. The result of our hard work was a beautiful garden that will provide hands-on learning opportunities for many years to come.

While in the Chicago area, we had the opportunity to visit the garden we partnered with PT Holdings to build last year at York Community High School in Elmhurst. It was a delight to find all of the beds prepared and ready for this year's planting.

PTGarden2016_WM-9594Just like at the end of a movie, we want to roll the credits to acknowledge everyone who made this garden possible. We would especially like to thank our partners at PT Holdings for their generous investment of time and money in school gardens in their community, Thanks also to the Army Trail Elementary School PTA and ATES principal and staff (and a special shout out to the custodial staff) for embracing the project with contagious enthusiasm. Finally, thanks to our vendors: Target for donating lunch and breakfast, Addison Building Materials for cedar lumber, hardware and tools, Schwarz Nursery Garden Center for most of our plants, Gardener's Supply Company for tools and supplies, and Threeman Products for the Japanese arbor. We are looking forward to working with you all again on future projects!

 

Click here for MORE photos of the Garden Install!

 

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