Hands-On Garden Grant

Hands-On Garden Grant

Mission Statement

Mission Statement
To encourage and build in students, through work projects, a personal pride and ownership of their campus and community, and most of all, themselves. 
Our mission is to encourage and mature students through hands on projects. We strive to cultivate in each student personal pride and ownership of their campus and community, and most of all, themselves. Our program started in 1986 with a few donated lawnmowers. Through collaborations between our school district, the county's Regional Occupational Program, Student Government and our school club business, we have successfully completed over 65 projects. In addition to designing and installing, we maintain our projects through an agreement with the district and our landscape maintenance class. Students are trained in the areas of landscape maintenance and landscape construction, while developing valuable work skills, a respect for their environment, and self-esteem.


Our Vision
 "For the first time, my teen-age son, Jack, is excited about school!   Jack is not the same kid he was last year at this time.  I use to have to force him to go to school. He even asked us if he could get his G.E.D., but now he is up and ready before I am even out of bed!  He is so excited!  His grades and attitude have really improved.  His dad and I are really happy for Jack. Yesterday he showed me the plant press they had made in his plant science lab.  He went right into the backyard and started collecting various plant cuttings to press.  This morning as he was flying out the door he told me he was going to learn how to install drip irrigation in the school garden.  I have never seen him so excited about anything!  I am so glad he was able to get into the hands-on science class.  It really has allowed him to utilize his strengths!" 

As with Jack, sometimes it is not the student, but the program that needs to be changed.  Especially in current times with federal legislation such as NO Child Left Behind, and so much emphasis placed on school API scores and state exit exams.  I feel we have lost sight of what is most important, connecting the student to their educational experience.  Home economics, wood shop, welding, driver's education, automotive, music and agriculture are a few examples of popular classes that have been cut from high school courses offerings.   As a consequence, many students are slipping through the cracks, dropping out of school or graduating with very few marketable skills and limited knowledge of their interests and aptitudes.    

Hands On Garden Plot Plan
Our vision is to build a Hands-On Garden, as shown in the attachment, which would serve as the hub of our outdoor education science program, combining new and existing programs. Complete with a greenhouse, shade house, a potting area, and an outside container nursery, the Hands-On Garden will provide a study of native and ornamental plant materials, plant propagation, nursery and greenhouse management methods and organic gardening.  In addition, students will be taught landscape design and installation, and landscape maintenance.

Description of Existing Programs

Description of the Existing Programs: 

1.  Operation of a year-round ROP Landscape Maintenance Training Program. This involves teaching students to safely operate and perform such tasks as mowing, edging, trimming, weeding, removal of garbage and debris, and maintaining of previous campus beautification project (see attached pictures) using sustainable practices. This project has been in operation for the past 12 years at Chico High School. This project serves 20 students for two hours M-F.
2.  Summer Youth Landscape Construction Course
Students learn to design and build eco-friendly sustainable campus beautification projects, taking projects from paper to completion (see attached pictures).  Students work 8-hour days for 6 weeks. The project employs 16 high school students and has been in operation 24 years, the past 12 at Chico High School.
3.  Campus Recycling Program 
Students recycle glass and plastic on campus. This project has been in operation for the past year.  Profits go towards campus projects.
4.  Feed a Pig Project 
Students collect discarded fruit from students through a drop off box in the cafeteria and thrown away fruit from campus garbage dispensers. The salvageable fruit is
collected, washed and fed to 4-H market hogs.  Since starting the project in August'09, students have collected an average of 25 pounds of fruit per week.  That is approximately 400 lbs. of discarded whole fruit in one semester.

5.  Panther Brew 
A student club owned and operated by students for the past seven years. 100% of profits go directly towards purchasing of materials for campus beautification projects.  The clubs current project is to retrofit a 1991 Polar Bear Ice Cream Truck into a lunch wagon and hopes to begin operating the start of 2010.

Description of New Programs

Description of New Programs:
1.  Expansion of Campus Recycling Center to include cardboard and paper.
2.  Perennial Plant Propagation will focus on students learning how to propagate and grow perennials for district campuses and community service projects.

3.  Nutrition Action Council will be focused on promoting healthy lifestyles through diet, their Harvest of the Month Project, and the GO Project (Garden Organic).
4.  Native Plant Propagation will focus on students learning to propagate and grow native plants for planting on district campuses and community service projects.
5.  The GO, (Garden Organic) project will focus on students learning to grow organic vegetables plants for elementary school gardens.
6.  BLAST (Best Life After School Team) will have enrichment classes in the areas of Ornamental Horticulture and Nutrition through gardening organically.
7.   Compost 101, Worm Farm & Poultry Aviary in which student will learn how to make compost using worms and organic materials for organic gardening purposes.  Poultry Aviary would be used for the production of eggs and manure.
8.  Game Bird Habitat Restoration project will focus on hatching and raising native quail and pheasants for releasing into the wild.
9.  Native Frog and Toad Habitat Restoration project will focus on the raising and   releasing of native toads and frogs to their natural habitats.

Above Document in .pdf Format

..Part 1--Mission and Vision Statement (pdf)..
..Part 2--Description of Existing Programs (pdf)..
..Part 3--Description of New Programs (pdf)..
..Part 4--Photo Gallery (pdf): Peace Patio; Planter in front of school; Summer Youth Landscape Construction Crew; Roger Williams Patio; Building benches; Stamped raised patio with rock border..
..Part 5--Photo Gallery (pdf): "Before" pictures of R.O.P. landscape construction project in front of school -- summer 2009..
..Part 6--Photo Gallery (pdf): "After" pictures of R.O.P. landscape construction project in front of school -- summer 2009..
..Part 7--Photo Gallery (pdf): Sidewalk through middle of campus; Accent garden; Panther Brew Cafe
..Part 8--Photo Gallery (pdf): More projects at Chico High School