How an Edible Garden Grows

January 08, 2014

Celebrating a new edible garden!

Although it’s winter now, students at Lincolnwood Elementary School in Evanston, Ill., will be growing up greener in the coming year. Earlier this fall, Lincolnwood students, families, teachers and staff marked the grand opening of Star Garden, a fenced-in edible garden designed to support and enhance student learning.

The evening began with a ceremonious ribbon-cutting and fitting musical performance, Garden of the Earth, sung by over 50 members of the fourth and fifth grade chorus. Lincolnwood principal Fred Hunter then introduced guest speaker and garden expert William Moss, a horticultural educator specializing in sustainability and growing gardens in small spaces. Moss was quick to get everyone’s attention once he started talking about the important work of various “garden helpers,” such as worms, bees and ladybugs.

Students were excited to learn that ladybugs aren’t just pretty to look at. They’re also helpful in protecting the garden from pests like aphids. Then Moss and a few students released hundreds of ladybugs into the garden. Talk about a beautiful, memorable, hands-on learning experience!

The initiative was made possible in part by donations from Lincolnwood students and families, a $2,000 Whole Foods grant, and the generous support of the school district. Thanks to their support, the garden was built in less than two years. Lincolnwood joins more than a dozen other District 65 schools in Evanston with school gardens this year.

Here in Chicago at CPS schools, HSC and Openlands are embarking on a bold mission to green Chicago’s schoolyards through a new initiative, Space to Grow. Funded by an innovative public- private partnership that takes advantage of available green infrastructure public funds, Space to Grow is designed to transform Chicago schoolyards into spaces for active play, outdoor learning, physical education, gardening, environmental literacy and engagement with art. Space to Grow kicks off with four pilot schools by next summer.

HSC applauds the Lincolnwood school community for helping Star Garden grow!