Cambridge Lakes Gardening Club

  • Location
    Pingree Grove, Illinois
  • Status
  • Age Level
    11 to 13 Years

The Problem

A lack of appreciation for the beautiful natural spaces that surround our school; we have an opportunity to convert a part of this space into a garden that benefits the school and the surrounding community. Through this project, we hope to spread awareness about cultivating plants, learning to care for living organisms, and incorporating healthy foods into our diets. This will be a collaborative, student-led project.

Our Plan

To offer students a hands-on learning opportunity that allows them to explore botany. To develop student responsibility, accountability, and cooperation. To increase morale and pride in our school. To grow a beautiful and functional garden. To find new opportunities to expand and utilize the garden.

Themes Addressed

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    Community Enhancement
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    Food Choices
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The Benefit

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Here is how the project went:

This project was often the bright spot during a difficult time. We were able to safely social distance while gardening outside. As we had been learning remotely from March until the end of the school year, the kids were very excited to have the opportunity to learn about plants and to beautify our school while working with a team of their peers. I also had several groups of siblings, which allowed for us to have mini-teams within our larger grouping. It also made it easier to maintain safe conditions as one set of siblings could work together to aerate the soil, another to fertilize, another to trim and prune, another to harvest, another to water, etc.

Through this project I/we learned:

We learned the joy that comes from having the patience and consistency to nurture plants and bring them to life. I believe that our club members also saw how all of nature works together. They were fascinated by the fact that certain plants attract specific insects and animals. They saw firsthand the life cycle of plants and made connections to nature at large and to the production of the food they eat. In summary, I think they learned a lot about teamwork and about natural processes.

What I/we might change:

For our first season of Gardening Club, we grew our plants in terracotta pots. For the next season (this upcoming spring), I plan to seek donations of top soil and boards in order to build gardening beds for our plants.

My/our favorite part of this project was:

My favorite part of the project was spending time gardening with the kids. I had missed seeing them in the classroom so much, and it felt so natural for us all to put our minds to a good and wholesome outdoor project.

Some tips, tricks or fun facts about the project:

Please visit our blog @ I tried my best to capture all of the joy, creativity, and fun that happened at CLCS Gardening Club.

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