Southwest Community Campus
This year, 119 first-graders learned about plants as part of their curriculum. Their project involved growing microgreens in trays of soil, allowing the students to experience multiple full growing cycles during the school year. Their community partner, Urban Roots, helped the teachers and students with the technical aspects of growing microgreens indoors to make sure the students had a successful harvest. They also engaged the students in discussions about how different growing practices have different impacts on water quality, especially in terms of fertilizer, pesticides, and erosion. This was tied back to their project to point out that growing food locally means a lower impact on the environment. They also learned how the microgreens are a very valuable crop and can provide supplemental income to community members. The produce harvested from the gardening was used for the benefits and enjoyment of the students. They shared their findings with local families during an evening event at the school.
Fostering Lifelong Stewardship:
Thanks to this project, students now understand the life/growth cycle of the plants and the importance of growing plants as a source of food. First graders have also learned the impact of saving water on watersheds. They can now share the importance of saving water and gardening with the school community.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency through the University of Wisconsin-Madison