Thursday, July 7, 2011

Update on the Hamilton Elementary/Middle School Garden Partnership with Hamilton Crop Circle

Update on the Hamilton Elementary/Middle School Garden Partnership with Hamilton Crop Circle

With summer here and temperatures soaring, lawns across the city will soon be scorched and brown. However, Hamilton Elementary/Middle School will display a lush, green lawn and garden thanks to a new, state of the art rainwater capture system and rain garden.

Today, Hamilton is home to a beautiful community garden that was cultivated in partnership with the community-led Hamilton Crop Circle. Over 3,500 square feet, the garden produces tomatoes, corn, beets, carrots, cucumbers, onions, lettuce, and other fruits and vegetables. Three local restaurants, the Chameleon Café, Hamilton Tavern, and Clementine serve the food to their customers. In October 2010, the Parks and People Foundation nominated Hamilton for Outstanding Schoolyard Garden, for its commitment to environmental education.

This system will provide clean water to the entire school garden and campus green area. Featured is a three-ton boulder, which emits clean, drinkable water from underground water tanks.

The school uses the garden for many academic activities.

· A time-lapse photography system is installed in the garden so children can track the growth of the plants.

· Arthur Morgan, one of the founders of the Hamilton Crop Circle, teaches gardening two days a week to the students.

· Morgan teaches the students about plants, insects, the environment, composting, and sustainability.

· Morgan and the children tend to the garden by planting, seeding, weeding, mulching, and watering.

Overall the garden instilled a sense of pride in Hamilton students, parents and neighbors in regard to the school. It is often hard to infuse children with a love for learning, but the garden at Hamilton has done just that. Students are now eager and enthusiastic to learn more about their garden and all of its different facets, including the math and science they learn while gardening.