The GardenIMG_1254

Whether you are new to Raleigh Park or a seasoned Tiger, you may not realize that our school is incredibly fortunate to have a beautiful garden located outside the south wall of our school. The garden has 10 raised beds, a composting area and an amphitheater for classes to use. The garden is 100% organic and contains tree fruits and berries, vegetables and flowers. All of the planting and harvesting in the garden is done by Raleigh Park students. Keeping our garden beautiful and healthy is up to us, which is why the Raleigh Park Garden Committee and Garden Volunteers are needed to keep this special space beautiful for our students!

If you love gardening and want to be part of the Garden Committee or if you would like to sign up to be a Garden Volunteer contact us now at garden@raleighparkpto.org.

Garden Committee – Helps to oversee the general management of the RP Garden. This committee organizes the planting/harvesting of the RP Garden, leads classroom sessions in the garden, creates lunchtime tastings from harvested fruit and vegetables and organizes volunteer work parties. The Garden Committee includes the Committee Lead, Plant/Harvest Coordinator, Tasting Coordinator and the Curriculum Coordinator.

Garden Volunteer – Volunteer in the RP Garden as needed. Some activities include: Sunday Work Parties, general clean-up, helping during classroom sessions in the garden, and helping prep lunchtime tastings. No garden experience needed!

About the Garden

  • There are 7 gardens within the school garden: A pioneer, native, bird, herb, Japan, China, and Mexico garden.
  • There are 10 raised beds and 6 additional planting areas plus a composting area and an amphitheater for classes to use.
  • The garden is 100% organic. It contains tree fruits and berries, nuts, vegetables and flowers.
  • There are a few garden gadgets to aide in student learning such as a thermometer, sun dial, rain meter, and a geological survey marker.
  • Teachers and students are encouraged to plant and harvest items from the garden. Garden committee volunteers offer fall and spring planting and harvesting sessions.
  • Garden committee volunteers periodically host tastings of seasonal items for students during lunchtime.
  • Keeping our garden beautiful and healthy is up to us, which is why the garden committee periodically hosts garden clean-up parties. These events are a great way to connect with friends and neighbors while keeping this special space beautiful for our Tigers.
  • School families and community guests are always welcome when school is not in session. The garden is for the enjoyment of all!

The Garden’s History

2003: A group of parents, teachers and staff came up with the idea of creating a special gardening space that would allow students to experience nature firsthand in a unique outdoor laboratory. Soon thereafter, work began on the master design of an elaborate garden based on students’ curriculum.

2005: Ground broke on the garden with funding through community donations and $25,000 from the Raleigh Park PTO. Local businesses along with many community volunteers donated their time and labor to the project.

2005 – 2007: Construction of pathways, irrigation, raised beds and plantings continued until the young garden was complete. The garden was ready for students to: plant bulbs and sow seeds; learn about composting and weeding; decide how to use the garden’s crops; study seasonal changes; learn about Pacific Northwest plant life; cultivate plants of other cultures; witness bird, plant and insect lifestyles; learn about healthy living and environmental responsibility.

2008: The amphitheater benches were designed by a school neighbor and installed by parent volunteers. The main garden entrance brick columns were built and engraved. The China kiwi arbor was designed and constructed by a parent volunteer. This arbor was donated by the fifth grade class of 2007. The Pioneer grape arbor was designed and built by a student. The school participated in the first Raleigh Park Garden Tour.

2009 -2010: The Mexico concrete raised beds were built. Parents and students designed colorful tiles as an Art Literacy Project that attached to the raised beds and planting beds. The garden was included in an article about elementary school gardens in a national publication called Urban Farm. The bench in the Native garden was donated in memory of student. The stone bench in the China garden was donated by the fifth grade class of 2010. The school participated in the second Raleigh Park Garden Tour.

2011 -2012: The sun thermometer in the Japan garden, the rain gauge in the Bird garden, and the sun dial in the Bulb garden were designed by local artist, Alexander Anderson. All were donated by the West Coast Bank and the PTO. The amphitheater cover was installed. The fish light in the Native garden was donated by a neighborhood family. The school participated in the third Raleigh Park Garden Tour.

2013 – 2014: The school participated in the fourth Raleigh Park Garden Tour. Two bug houses were designed by a school parent and installed, one in the Pioneer garden and one in the Herb garden.

2015 – 2016: The school participated in the fifth Raleigh Park Garden Tour. Tree stumps were placed in the Herb and Pioneer gardens to promote worm and bug habitat as well as a new sitting areas for the students. Drake’s Seven Dees donated various perennials which were planted near the amphitheater throughout the Pioneer garden. The bug houses were colorfully decorated by the 4th grade classes with art painted by each student.

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Can you help with the garden?

Contact the Garden Coordinator