All Sonoma Valley Schools to Have Gardens this Spring
(Posted By Sun News On January 24, 2011)
All of the students in Sonoma Valley will have school gardens this spring to dig, plant and further their education thanks to the School Garden Project. Kathleen Hill has been formally named as the School Garden project director, and Alissa Pearce just joined the effort as the School Garden education coordinator. Pearce has served as the garden coordinator at Dunbar Elementary School for several years. Each school site in the district will also have a staff member who acts as a site garden coordinator.
The goal of the School Garden Project is to establish both planted garden areas, living classroom spaces for outdoor learning, and improved school lunch nutrition. Each school is now growing a variety of plants and vegetables. Flowery, Dunbar, Prestwood and Woodland Star schools have long-standing garden traditions that now serve as models for all of the schools. Pearce will work along side school garden project director, Kathleen Hill. Hill organized and led the garden project from the start, inspiring both the school district and the community to support the idea of school gardens at every Sonoma public school site.
“The garden projects at the schools in our district go right to what a quality education and serving the community is all about,” said Sonoma Valley Education Foundation Executive Director Laura Zimmerman. “We live and learn in an agriculture-based Valley and for students pulled towards this vocation these garden projects really hit home.”
Over a recent weekend, volunteers spent an entire day cleaning and clearing the garden area at Sonoma Valley High School, which was organized through an effort by Organizing for America in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. More than 50 volunteers turned out to contribute time and effort, including Sonoma Valley School Board President, Nicole Abate Ducarroz. Hill is also helping to organize a kitchen garden for the High School Culinary Department.
Thanks to a generous donation from Stone Edge Farms, both middle schools have moved forward on their gardens, with green houses and other key structures now in place. Wedekind’s Garden Center, Sonoma Mission Gardens and Sonoma Materials have all been generous to the School Garden Project, providing plants, supplies, tools and valuable expertise. The Sonoma Valley Education Foundation is funding the personnel and elementary garden infrastructure through a community effort. To donate, visit or call 935.9566.