The Stoddert Garden was funded, designed and constructed by DC Greens in partnership with the Stoddert PTA and with generous support from Whole Foods and a Building Healthy Communities grant from Home Depot
The 4,000 square foot garden includes eight raised beds for edibles, an herb garden, a native plant area, a butterfly-shaped pollinator garden, a shaded teaching area, a tool shed, a sink station, a compost area and a berry bramble. The garden also features a 36 square foot greenhouse made by students from recycled plastic bottles.
Artist Patrick Dougherty designed the entrance sculpture, which was constructed by his colleague, Andy Lynch. Members of the community and sculpture students from the Corcoran assisted Andy each day with the construction. This entryway, known as “the stick house” by Stoddert students, is a whimsical invitation for the school children to enter and explore the garden.
A Model Garden
The Stoddert Garden is designed to be a model garden for the following reasons:
- The garden was designed based on best practices from school garden programs throughout the city and country and continues to evolve based on teacher and school community feedback.
- The garden was formed through a collaboration between DC Greens, the school community and the local business community. DC Greens continues to provide support and management.
- DC Greens manages a dedicated school garden coordinatorat Stoddert, allowing the garden to thrive through:
- Integrating garden education and outdoor lessons into the science curriculum for pre-K through 5th grade classes
- Setting up a volunteer-based watering and gardening schedule to allow for summer garden maintenance
- Launching an after-school garden club to provide garden enrichment lessons and structured learning time.
On October 23, 2012 twenty-seven Stoddert Elementary students worked with Casey Trees to plant two espalier pear trees, one espalier apple tree, two fig trees, two cherry blossoms, and one sweet bay magnolia in and around their school garden. Check out photos of the workday.
“Casey Trees came to help us plant trees around the school… the kids got to use pickaxes, shovels and rakes. We used the shovels to dig a hole and we put the soil on a tarp. Then we clipped the root balls open and rolled the tree into the hole. Then we had to put the soil from the tarp back in the hole. It was very exciting. We felt happy because we had done something good for the environment. Trees give us oxygen and make our school more beautiful. We will take care of the trees by watering them, and they will get lots of sunlight. We are also going to teach other kids in the school that it is important to take care of the trees and the environment.” – Daniel McCmillan III and Margaret Hutt, Stoddert second graders quoted in The Georgetown Current (October 31, 2012)