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School Gardens – Connecting With Youth

By Norma Adair and Allie Molinda, Colorado Master Gardeners

Cherry Creek High School

Photo: Norma Adair

Arapahoe County Master Gardeners have been involved with the Cherry Creek High School Plant Club since 2009. This after-school club meets weekly and consists of high school students who have signed up and have an interest in gardening. Many of the students are passionate about gardening and learning about how plants grow.  

Besides learning the basics about plants, they grow flowers, vegetables and herbs in the greenhouse at the school. In May of each year, they have a Mother’s Day plant sale at which students (and the public) can purchase geraniums, tomato plants, herbs and other vegetables for their mothers. It is a great success, and the students can’t wait for this event. The money they raise goes back into the Plant Club funds for the next year. 

Littleton High School

Photo: Allie Molinda

The Littleton High School greenhouse is a place of education and experimentation. The Greenhouse Club activities are mostly centered around learning about and growing plants, but there is plenty of room to extend beyond that. Throughout the school year, the club meets bimonthly to grow vegetables, perennial flowers and annual flowers. The greenhouse is a large facility with room for a hydroponic system, several large, self-watering troughs and plenty of table space for propagating seedlings via seed and plant cuttings. There are also two raised beds directly outside the greenhouse for outdoor growing. With the intention of creating a better connection to our food and where it comes from, several meetings are devoted to “cooking from the garden.” The club has made salsa, pesto, and vinaigrettes for lettuce from the harvest. The club also has taken field trips to Denver Botanic Gardens. A plant sale at the end of the year helps keep the club sustainable. But maybe the best things about the club are playing in the dirt, seeing plants grow, and just hanging out with friends.

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