Let It Grow, Let It Grow, Let It Grow!

The school garden here at STMS has made a big impact on the lives of many Wildcats. Mrs. Hart, a 6th-grade science teacher here at Saluda Trail, created a garden behind the school. She enjoys taking her students out there to work in the garden. Students and teachers say it’s an amazing outdoor learning laboratory that many have had an opportunity to experience.

Jamie Arcuri, a 6th grader, said her favorite part about the garden was, “going out to see how much the garden has grown.” Luther Strait, another 6th

Mrs. Harts looks around the garden located behind the school

grader said, “I enjoy working with dirt and plants.”

Mrs. Harts’ students help her water plants, pull weeds, and even plant more seeds. “I like everything about the garden except the weeding,” Mrs. Hart stated. All of her students love different things about the garden.

Students in Mrs. Hart’s 6th grade science class shovel dirt to place around the mini pools located in the garden.

Jaden Jackson, a seventh-grader, remembered the garden from last year. “I wasn’t here the whole year, but while I was here it was fun to be outside instead of being stuck in the classroom doing work,” Jackson said.  Na’kiyah Williamson, a 7th grader who hasn’t experienced the garden said, ” I guess the garden is nice. It’s good for students to go and learn about plants and the environment. I really don’t know much about it because I wasn’t there but what I’ve heard is good.”

Even students in Mrs. Dantzler’s and Mr. Rhodes’ photography classes enjoy the garden. ” I love being able to take my photography students out to the garden,” Mrs. Dantzler said. “My students have taken some amazing nature photos out there. They also get to see the growth out there.”

Mrs. Dantzler’s students enjoy taking photos in the garden.

Mrs. Hart said there are some challenges when it comes to a school garden – money and time. Because the school does not provide funds for the garden, Mrs. Hart said she often uses her own money to fund the garden and provide entertainment for the 6th-graders. She also stated that there doesn’t seem to be enough time to do all of the things should like to do when it comes to the garden.

Animals have been another challenge. “I’m not sure how many different kinds of animals have eaten things from the garden, but I know that at least one deer came in this year and feasted on the peppers and the tops of the sweet potatoes,” Mrs. Hart said. “The deer walked into the pools and left footprints as proof.”

Mrs. Hart and one of her students move dirt to place around the plants.

Mrs. Hart is grateful for some of the outside support she has received from  the Rock Hill School District Foundation, Farm Bureau, and Master Gardeners. The support has been very helpful and have allowed her students to learn about plant behavior in the garden.

Mrs. Hart recently received a new grant for a quail farm, which will include a garden where her students can learn more about animal and plant life and behavior. Students will benefit from this because they will be able to learn more while also having fun.

Mrs. Hart received $472.00 from the foundation.  “The Foundation Grant was the only grant that I won for this,” Mrs. Hart said. “The York County 4-H gave me the eggs.” She said the grant took her about a month to obtain.

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