My love of gardening began back in the 1970’s while living in rural Vermont and has grown steadily through the years. When my husband and I moved to Maine in 1987, we immediately started vegetable and flower gardens at our new house. Word got out that I loved gardening at
the school where I worked as a Guidance Counselor. When the building was renovated in 1998-99, the principal asked if I’d put in some flower beds to brighten up the front of the building. When I said yes, she handed mea $300.00 Walmart Grant application and that was the beginning of the school gardening program at Manchester School. Twenty years later, we have three flower gardens, nine raised beds, a small fruit tree orchard, a hoophouse, garden shed and composting system. The students have been involved in all aspects of the gardens. Over the years, I’ve found convincingly that the students get so much out of learning science in a
hands-on way, having to problem solve and cooperate with their peers, while also learning the invaluable skills of growing and harvesting their own food and learning how to be responsible stewards of the land.
After retiring from my counseling job in 2013, I decided to apply for the Master Gardener Program in Cumberland County, something I’d always wanted to do. The program gave me extended knowledge and skills that I continue to use as the volunteer co-leader of the Manchester Gardens for Learning. In 2014 I joined the Maine School Garden Network Board because of my deep belief in the value school gardens have for students, staff and families. I also bring to the table direct knowledge and experience with the obstacles and challenges facing educators who support and want to be involved with them.