Submitted by the APW school district
Students in Toni Pugliano’s Science, Society and You class at Altmar-Parish-Williamstown (APW) High School have continued to care for and nurture the community garden begun last year when the APW Educational Foundation awarded a grant to the science department that covered the initial start-up costs. The grant provided funds for lumber for the raised beds, indoor lighting, and other gardening essentials. Students in George Parker’s technology classes at the high school constructed the raised bed planters and created stakes for the plants. Now in its second year, the gardens were moved from their spot near the transportation department to a sunny location near the science classrooms due to the capital project construction in and around the high school.
Pugliano hopes to expand the gardens project to include other classes and this year students in Janet Campbell’s Biology class joined with the Science, Society and You class to work in and use the garden as their “extended classroom”. Eric Lanious’ photography class documented the garden’s growth through photos and next year plans are in the works for Cristina O’Hara’s art club students to paint garden scenes on the compost barrels used by the gardeners to help them blend better into the garden space.
The students are using the garden to study the science of plant growth, organic methods of soil enhancement, organic pest prevention and have used the garden as an extended “science lab” moving the science of the classroom into real-world applications.
Last summer, the garden was maintained by student volunteers and volunteers from the transportation and maintenance departments at the high school. The produce harvested was distributed to the local food pantries and various churches in the APW district.