Environmental awareness starts with spending time outdoors, understanding how plants grow, and experiencing weather and the change of seasons. ISE has partnered with each school to develop onsite gardens that children help tend and harvest. School gardens have been shown to foster excitement among children and a sense of wonder that something they helped plant can become delicious food. The gardens are also places of respite for the kids outside the confines of the school building.
ISE completed gardens at Winthrop and Doyon in 2013/2014 and introduced a high school garden in 2014.
Flowers and Food from the MS/HS garden has found its way into the curriculum and life outside the classroom. It was the 10th grade Math class that utilized their academics to layout the planting plan. Some art students picked the flowers and then used them as still art for their drawing. The fall harvest produced hearty Kale, which was used by the cafeteria staff in the Soup for the students. The flowers were also cut and sold in bunches at the local Ipswich Farmers market. The funds raised help the Environmental Club and provided a teaching tool in economics as well.
Bountiful carrots and vegetables from the Winthrop Garden were offered over the summer months to the local food pantry.