Concord Academy Boyne is in the process of starting a student maintained garden for the agricultural science class.
The program started by science teacher, Matthew Rogers and school nurse Chris Warstler, with Jordyn Hausler, student as one of the leaders of the program.
“The class is an excellent opportunity for students to use all of their skills they have obtained in science and other classes,” said Rogers. “On the science side, every day in class, students are asked to be an engineer, chemist, and biologist.”
The students are currently working on transforming the hydroponics into an outside garden; Rogers said the students are separated into three groups each with a different goal.
“Their plans range from raised beds, recycled art, koi ponds, and chicken coupes,” he said. “They have been running GoFund me sites and one group has raised $600. Sending out letters to companies and business, over 500 dollars of seeds donated, and going to local businesses in the area.”
Hausler said she became interested in the idea of a school garden when she took the agricultural class, and they discussed hydroponic science. Students who became involved with the program would receive a half a credit.
“From the beginning of year, the school board has given us about $300 in funding,” she said. “Most of that has gone towards the hydroponic set up but the students are doing most of the fund-raising on go fund me and just by donation.”
According to Rogers, the class began with few students learning about hydroponics and grew to encompass learning about gardens, fund-raising, engineering and problem solving.
“Their influence is also spreading with students and teachers in other grades becoming curious about what we are doing and even starting to make their own gardens,” he said.
Hausler said the plan is to give produce the garden creates to their supportive teachers as a thanks.
“If we get a surplus, we might donate it to a food pantry or try to raise funds by selling some of it,” she said.
The program is expected to begin by the end of the school-year, and they hope to introduce livestock in the fall.
“I hope it’s something that is going to continue throughout the school-year,” said Hausler. “Most the kids in the class are seniors or juniors so we’re really hoping this is going to be something that we can pass down to the next kids. And something that they can take pleasure in and be proud of for the next couple of years.”