To commemorate the legacy of Cesar Chavez, Killip Elementary School and the Civic Service Institute at NAU (CSI@NAU) collaborated on a Day of Service cleaning up and building up the Killip school gardens on March 29th, 2019. We had participation from local service members, elementary students and teachers, nonprofit and for-profit organizations, and longstanding community partners.
As part of a National Service day, service member participants included 7 volunteers from the CSI@NAU VISTA program, 1 FoodCorps AmeriCorps Service Member, 1 CSI@NAU AmeriCorps volunteer, and 5 NAU students interested in the Peace Corps.
There were 8 classes with over 200 students who integrated the service day into their learning. Jessica Beekman's 3rd Grade and Courtney White's Pre-K classes worked in Luna Park to remove pine needles and trash, clean the pond, and paint tables. Lisa Hatch's 2nd Grade and Kim Edison's 4th Grade classes prepared the garden beds in front of the school and planted violas and pansies. Tracy Blahut's 5th Grade, Michelle John's 4th Grade, Tim Begley's 2nd Grade, and Mabel Goodwin’s 2nd Grade classes prepared the Learning and Plant Part Gardens by tilling the soil, adding natural soil amendments, reconstructing garden beds, and turning compost.
Beyond the amazing work of service members, students, and staff, we also had over 30 volunteers from the community, including associates from Home Depot (East Flagstaff Store) and NAU’s Farm-to-School First Year Seminar and Master’s of Sustainable Communities program. Home Depot (East Flagstaff Store) donated the materials they used to build a raised 140-square-foot U-shaped garden bed designed in part by the 4th and 5th Grade students, Home Depot (West Flagstaff Store) donated saws to build benches and for future use by Killip, and the Coconino County Master Gardener Association funded the materials to develop an outdoor classroom in the Learning Garden, including materials to build benches and chalkboards. NAU has offered consistent support for the after-school garden club and ensures that all garden needs are met.
Thank you to everyone who helped make this day (and all garden days!) possible. Over 12 cubic yards of trash were removed, and the new garden bed and benches have made the gardens ready for upcoming outdoor learning units. Check out the great work our volunteers accomplished with the before and after shots below!
Before (top) and after (bottom) view of the main Learning Garden.
Students till and amend soil in the front yard garden beds, and plant flowers.
Written by Lee A. Haferkamp and Brooke Kahl.
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