The Puesta del Sol School Garden, or Nuestro jardín escolar, was constructed at the end of school year 2013-14, over Father’s Day weekend in June of 2014. Thanks to the incredible generosity of seven community business donors (Eaglemount Forest Products, Cedar Grove, Hendrikus Organics, John Deere Landscaping, SpeeWest Construction, Ballard Hardware, and Garlic Crush) who contributed nearly $10,000 worth of high quality raw cedar lumber, organic soil, organic compost, hardware, PVC piping, and irrigation fittings.  In addition, over 250 volunteer hours by 15 school families and friends of Puesta del Sol, and just under $2000 seed money from Puesta del Sol’s PTA through the Spanish Immersion through the Arts Committee in 2014.

The resulting beautiful raised beds include 400 square feet of high quality organic soil and compost, giving each teacher 16 square feet for their classroom.  The Puesta del Sol Art Appreciation committee has created custom signs for each classroom, colorfully marking the teachers’ plots with their names and room numbers.

We have worked with Delia Villaneuva (Puesta del Sol curriculum lead) to incorporate and align the school garden as an extension of the Bellevue School District FOSS science curriculum. This enables every teacher in every grade to use the garden as an outdoor learning lab for their existing lesson plans for science!  The school wide (580 students) school garden provides real-life learning experiences related to studying beneficial insects, worms, caterpillars, pollinators, soil, caterpillar and butterfly lifecycles, planting and cultivation, and even composting from the lunchroom food waste. 

Volunteers are needed in a variety of ways! Work in conjunction with the teachers and volunteer parent coordinators:

  1. To help a specific teacher or grade plan and execute on their lesson plans in the gardens- life science, physical science, and environmental science. Planting seeds, growing worms, measuring growth, doing art and math in the garden, and tending to their teacher’s classroom garden plot, including harvesting their bounty for their classroom! In the first year of the school garden, every single teacher signed up to use their classroom plot!
  2. Help with the garden every Thursday 2nd recess in order for kids (K-2 and 3-5) to work in the garden weekly under teacher and parent volunteer supervision. We plant, weed, water, and compost , discussing what we do in both Spanish and English. The school garden is free, open to any student in any grade and they just “show up”, no registration needed! We have anywhere from 15 to 60 kids in the garden every Thursday afternoon!
  3. Sign up to help tend, weed, and water the garden over the summer months when school is not in session. This helps ensure a beautiful welcome back to school for the community in September!

 

Contact School Garden Coodinator Liz Baze for more information:  [email protected]org

Join the Facebook group for the school garden:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/PuestaSchoolGarden/ 

Visit the: http://www.bsd405.org/about/initiatives/green-schools/