William C. Jack Outdoor Learning Facility and Community Garden

October 21, 2017

Imagine a school yard garden that students and faculty represent with pride, not only because of its beauty but because it enables a whole new set of learning experiences and school community opportunities for both students and families. We are making this vision a reality at William C. Jack through the implementation of our school’s community garden! We currently have begun the process of setting the foundation for creating a community garden that will provide years of enjoyment through the beauty of the garden and rewards of the harvests.
Our long term vision is to be able to provide an outdoor learning facility to sustain and fortify open communication among students, staff, and community members. This will all be supported by the implementation of providing opportunities for the school community to utilize the space to plant plants, read outdoors, investigate the art on the walls and apply math, science, and technology skills as the garden continues to flourish and grow. Through continued efforts this project will service approximately 700 students with opportunities for outdoor project based learning experiences.
Not only would the garden be a wonderful asset to our school but it would also strongly support our school mission statement which is, “William C. Jack inspires learners and leaders. With our strong community and positive environment, we communicate and work together to help every student succeed in life.”
The school garden will create a community that will allow for ongoing interaction and communication among students, faculty, and families.
The outdoor learning space will provide for differentiated experiences for all levels of learners to have interactive learning experiences with their knowledge of horticulture.
At least 90% of teachers will be able to integrate state standard based curriculum opportunities to provide connections across the curriculum.
Students will be able to see cause and effect relationships through by their ability to make improvements to their environment and community.
The school garden will provide opportunities for leadership, team work, and self-confidence through ownership of the project with students, faculty, families, and community members.
Technology will be integrated through investigation of available resources, research, and picture progression.
The garden committee will organize a plan for participation in International Green Apple Day of Service.
The garden community will work together to implement a plan to assist with long term sustainability of the project.
One of the benefits of the garden will be that a strong partnership will be created between home, school and surrounding community members.
Our hope is that students will, acquire a love for basic gardening knowledge and skills, appreciate where food comes from, and work cooperatively in groups. Furthermore, students will develop lifelong skills to ideally make healthier and smarter food choices. In addition, the outdoor learning environment will increase engagement as students receive introductions to entomology, nutrition, sustainability and knowledge of the ecosystem.

• Form garden committee with teachers, students, and parents
• Seek opportunities for additional funding and partnerships
• Select and finalize garden design
• Seek out maintenance support for shade installation and irrigation needs
• Attend PTA meeting to seek assistance with adding soil to planter boxes
• Attend an University of Arizona school garden workshop
• Planter boxes set with irrigation and filled will quality soil
• Special presentation by University of AZ garden expert to staff about gardening across the curriculum
• Teachers plan winter garden curriculum
• Community garden soil spreading event
• Add volunteer names to recognition of volunteers luncheon invitation
• Teacher adopt a planter box and plant winter gardens with their students
-Secure possible plant and flower donations for local plant nursery
-Send our invitations for October 21st Green Apple Volunteer Day
- Committee revisits initial plan
-Contact local Master Gardener Association, Sun City Gardening organization and U of A gardening rep
November and December:
• Garden committee will meet to create plan to sustain garden during winter school break with neighborhood volunteers
• Plan for spring garden
• Demonstrations by local nursery on how to begin composting
March and April:
- Seek out donations for plants from local plant nursery
- Create plan for garden maintenance for summer break time, solicit parent volunteers
We are currently funding our garden through community partnerships; in order to complete the project we are actively seeking further funding opportunities.
Expenditure Purpose Approximate Cost
Raised Planter Beds Areas for seed/plant growth 7 @ $21.91 each $153.37
Knee Pad Cushions Student comfort 30 @ $1.50 each 45.00
Garden Gloves Garden work 30 @ $.97 each 30.00
Starter Plants Plants for garden 34 packs @ $3.00 each 100.00
Gardening Tools (shovels,rakes)Garden Maintenance 9 @ $9.00 each 81.00
Composter Teaching Compost Center 1 @ $89.95 89.95
Garden Bench Seating for students 1 @ $600.00 600.00
Total $1,100.00
** Our school would greatly appreciate and put to good use any funds we are fortunate enough to receive, thank you!

Intended impact of project

Reduced environmental impact
Increased environmental & sustainability literacy