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MRHS teacher awarded grant from Harwich Garden Club to create accessible garden beds

MRHS teacher awarded grant from Harwich Garden Club

Monomoy Regional High School Culinary Arts teacher Caroline Freitas has been awarded a grant from the Harwich Garden Club for her “Gardening for Life” project. This project will be a collaboration with Culinary Arts students and students in the Special Needs program.

The goal is this project is to connect the students with the process of planning, planting, caring for, and enjoying the “fruits of their labor.” Students will also focus on working together as a team, perseverance (addressing the unpredictable challenges of nature), and enjoying time spent “unplugged.” The project will entail construction of a cedar garden bed at MRHS that is ADA compliant, planting the raised bed with appropriate vegetables and flowers, care and maintenance of the raised garden bed, and harvesting, cooking, and eating the harvest.

The Special Needs Department is a key component in the development and maintenance of this garden. Students who are on a 12-month education plan will be invaluable in keeping the beds watered over the hot summer months. They will also work on plant vs. weed identification, handling and directing the hose, and proper use of gardening tools. The need for an accessible garden bed is a priority for this group of students working in the garden.

“I would like to keep the raised bed garden project as simple and uncomplicated as possible while still teaching and challenging the students to engage in new ways, develop lifelong skills of stewardship and making better nutritional choices, and to hopefully be successful in growing food to cook in our Culinary Arts classroom kitchen for years to come,” says Freitas.

Harwich Garden Club members Mary Anne Kinum and Pam Bosko presented a check to Freitas on February 13, 2020. The grant is a part of the club’s Earth First initiative, which aims to promote environmentally friendly practices through education.