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Local Gardens Growing Young, Confident, Self-Sufficient Students One Plant At A Time

Article by Wendie Wigginton

Photography by Provided

Originally published in Celina Lifestyle

A quick glance into the history of Celina will tell you how deeply rooted this town is in farming.  Even as developments continue to pop-up and Celina continues to grow, you can still drive along portions of Preston Road and the back roads and see cotton fields much like the ones the first settlers who arrived in1846 planted to support their families. As each new generation passes it is important to continue to teach our children the importance of farming.

Tawnia King and the team at Celina Friends of the Garden, a local 501(c)(3), have found a way to do just that. The Garden of Oz at Lykins Elementary School and the Giving Tree Garden at O’Dell Elementary offer opportunities for Celina ISD students to get hands on experience in learning to plant, decompose, and how to be self-sufficient by growing food. It takes science learning to a whole new level and more importantly it takes it outside.  

Gardening is a healthy and fun activity that can help improve motor skills and for kids. These gardens create an environment where Lykins and Odell students can learn new skills such as planting, mulching, weeding and how to use garden equipment. It also helps them to build responsibility in caring for the plants. It creates a love of nature and teaches cooperation. Students also gain a better understanding of the animals and weather impacts to the garden.

The Garden of Oz and the Giving Tree Garden twice a year plant flowers and vegetables that attract some of natures most productive animals including birds, butterflies, ladybugs, worms, and other interesting insects. These gardens teach the students how to understand and appreciate the delicate balance that each of these creatures plays in food production and the ecosystem.  

Establishing a thriving garden does not happen without a lot of hard work and the Celina Friends of the Garden is always looking for partners and donations to help. Some ways that you can get involved with the garden

·       Monetary Donations

·       Donating tools, seeds, and plants, or by building or repairing composters and water systems,

·       Offer an hour or two of your time to help maintain the garden in weeding and watering

It’s been proven that maintenance of a garden and getting outdoors helps to reduce stress and improve one's mental and physical health.  In a time where outside stressors can lead to increased insecurity and stress in our kids, the work that the Celina Friends of the Garden is doing will benefit the students as they grow and blossom like the gardens they help care for.   

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