Let's Grow a Garden

November 02, 2017

OBE is in its second year of collecting organic waste, also known as the Composting Program, in Horry County Schools and has made considerable efforts to improve the carbon footprint of the school as well as increasing the environmental literacy of its students. Over 500 lbs. of organic material is collected in the cafeteria daily and the students actively participate in the separation of landfill trash, commingled recycling, and compostable material. Students are able to interact with their waste on a daily basis and learn how organic materials decompose to create compost. This compost can be used to grow plants and OBE sees opportunities to advance the cafeteria composting program by allowing students to use the compost to grow plants in gardens.
OBE has created a small outdoor learning committee to further develop outdoor educational spaces and integrate new, outdoor programs into the curriculum with activity based outdoor learning. This committee is currently lead by OBE teacher Elizabeth Foster and Cafeteria Manager Kerry Rabon. Mrs. Foster and Ms. Rabon have successful and passionately implemented the Composting Program at OBE. Ms. Rabon, formerly of River Oaks Elementary (the original ‘green’ school) carries vast information to help carry out our plan. Other members include Marianne Eaton (kinder teacher), Wayne Hickey (community member & professional gardener, husband of Candy Hickey; support staff) Kathy Rummel (kinder Aide), Pam Mulcahy (assistant principal), Trisha Gibson-Grossmon (support staff), Christina Anderson (library aide) and Vicki Coyle (CD teacher). In addition to these folks who are volunteering their time to OBE, we have multiple people who will donate tools and knowledge of gardening. The garden consortium commits to ensuring preservation of our learning garden. In regards to teacher turn over, OBE is not a school which typically experiences a lot of teacher turnover. Most of OBE’s volunteers worked at this site for many years and do not plan on leaving. Fortunately, our administration has committed to ensuring the maintenance of our gardens barring our committee should fall short. The OBE PTO has also committed to supporting our vision by financing the Clemson Extension Gardening class for Elizabeth Foster and Kerry Rabon to attend. Each raised bed will correspond to a particular grade and will be the responsibility of all classes within the grade to provide general upkeep of the bed and maintain the health of the plants

Intended impact of project

Reduced environmental impact
Increased environmental & sustainability literacy
Reduce landfill waste