Sagamore Hills, Sagamore Hills, How Does Your S.T.E.M. Garden Grow?
It grows with an outpouring of loving support from enthusiastic students, dedicated volunteers, vested community members, and generous sponsors. This beautifully eclectic group makes for the best garden family…which I am so proud to be a member. Together we each played our parts in making the expected HUGE Spring Garden Planting more successful than imagined. It all began with having our tough, coarse soil freshly tilled into a loose, fine consistency. Mr. John Miller and Mrs. Lynn Douglas freed our Garden Club Member’s from this daunting task by taking care of it ahead of time. Then came an ENORMOUS herb, flower and vegetable plant donation from new Assistant Store Manager, Mr. Chad Meetre , and Store Manager, Mr. Shawn Brooks, at The Home Depot in Decatur. This gifting was enough to fill a vehicle trunk and cargo bed to capacity. Sagamore’s Head Custodian, Mr. Zellner, was kind enough to assist in the pickup and delivery process of these delectable items. We got beans, greens, potatoes, tomatoes…YOU NAME IT-we got it, and then some!
miller tilling, tilling, home depot donation, custodian zellner
But, the excitement didn’t stop there. The ASA students and morning bus riders, along with creative support from Paraprofessional-Mr. Gardner and Kitchen Staff Members-Ms. Leonard and Ms. Shade, custom designed extra-large paint sticks to label each plants place in the garden. During the actual planting, our 130 plus Jr. and Sr. S.T.E.M. Garden Club membership took care of the gardening business at hand. Students channeled their energy into digging deep holes, perfectly positioning, gently covering and snugly patting each plant into their nutrient rich new homes in the soil. Seeing all of our garden beds over flowing with new life was a sight to behold.
kitchen staff labels, planting, garden beds
To continuously meet the watering demands of our thriving garden program we “have stepped up our rainwater harvesting game”. Or at least that is what Engineer and Georgia Tech alumnus, Mr. Richard Hanson, owner of Georgia Water Tanks and his assistant Eric said as they recently installed our 5,000-gallon Cistern. What is a CISTERN you may ask? It is a ginormous above ground rain barrel with pressurized pumping mechanisms. This amazing donation was made possible through our continued partnership with The Captain Planet Foundation and was funded by a grant from the Georgia Aquarium…we are taking High-Tech into the garden!
Having this Eco-friendly watering system totally aligns with the academic curriculum we teach (Ancient Greek and Roman History), S.T.E.M designs we create (Low-Flow Shower Heads) and environmental consciousness we foster (Reduce-Reuse-Recycle) in every grade-level at Sagamore Hills Elementary School. It didn’t take long for our inventive students to engineer a way to get the Cistern water to the more deprived areas beyond its reach…enter wagons and watering cans. Real-World S.T.E.M. application people!
Retired DCSD Teacher, Master Gardener and Sagamore Community Member, Mrs. Betsy Razza summed up the impactful experience best by paying this tremendous compliment to our program, “It was wonderful to see the enthusiasm of the children as they planted the vegetables. Sagamore Hills provides the children with a sense of accomplishment, ownership and an appreciation of nature.”
Many hands and hearts went into making this year’s Spring S.T.E.M. Garden planting an awe-inspiring success from start, finish and beyond.
Mrs. Tasha L. J. Messer