Kiwanis brings ‘magic’ of gardening to kidsFor children, learning is perfectly natural.
By: Shelley Nelson, Superior Telegram
For children, learning is perfectly natural.
But nature is becoming part of the learning environment for the preschoolers at Family Forum on North 34th Street with the help of Superior’s Kiwanis Club.
Volunteers with the organization made quick work Monday of establishing gardening beds in front of the child learning center where families who participate in the educational program will begin making a garden grow.
“We planted some sunflower seeds earlier and got them started, and some faster growing herbs so they could see – they sprout up so much faster than flowers – they could experience planting the seeds and watering them and waiting for them to germinate,” said Barb Merrill of Family Forum. “That takes a little time, but it’s magical to them. It really is because there was nothing and it gets taller.”
In anticipation of the project, the students had the opportunity to express their artistic sides as well. They created their own garden stones by imprinting their feet and hands in plaster, and decorating the stone with planting marbles.
The stones were a way to get families thinking about the gardens, and what was happening here, said Merrill, who came up with the idea when members of Kiwanis were looking for a service project to take on this year.
Kiwanis, which is involved in fundraising, community service and assisting children, has long worked with Family Forum on the Reading is Fundamental (RIF) program.
The goal of the new project was to do something for all the children and families who use the center, said Melissa Brown, Kiwanis Club president. She said with the trend toward sustainability, Merrill’s suggestion gained roots.
“We were looking to do some more service rather than just writing checks and handing the money out,” Brown said. “It’s kind of nice if we can get in here and get hands on.”
About seven of the 36 members turned out Monday evening to set the wooden beds built by 20-year member Greg Mattson of Holden Insurance and his son Shaun Mattson. After digging out a spot for the legs, volunteers with Kiwanis set out to fill the beds and pat it down to prepare the soil for planting.
Greg Mattson said Campbell’s Lumber and Greg’s Trucking also deserve credit for making the project possible. The businesses worked with Kiwanis to keep the project within its $250 budget, Brown said.
Over the course of the week, families participating in Family Forum will begin planting the beds.
“It’s a learning experience for them – all the ages,” Brown said.