This year the Lewisburg Farmer’s Market’s 5th Annual Honeybee Festival will celebrate the start of a multi-year outreach program in the Public Schools that raises awareness and knowledge of the role pollinators play in growing the food we eat, promotes the Lewisburg Farmer’s Market and urban agriculture. Annually the Festival will provide the opportunity for schools and students to showcase their efforts.
In 2017 we are partnering with Principals and Teachers at Rainelle Elementary and Smoot Elementary schools in Greenbrier County to plant a teaching pollinator garden at each location, and to provide a curriculum and hands on activities to teachers. Our goal is to expose students to the collaboration between pollinator plants, pollinators and our food supply, and to provide a permanent teaching tool that can enhance instruction in Science, Math, LASS, Art and Music.
Cynthia Clark, RN, MSN is developing the curriculum and the draft garden plan (see resources above). The gardens will have a foundation of perennials and native plants that can be augmented each year with bulbs and annuals to keep the project alive and fun year after year. Food plants will be included as the foundation for learning about Urban Gardening. This is especially important in WV where much of the State is considered a food desert due to low income and access. The WV Native Plant Society, and Greenbrier County Master Gardeners have provided guidance and offered plants and seeds to the project. LFM vendors and about 10 others have volunteered plants and help with the initial planting. We are working closely with staff and volunteers who have created existing garden and food related projects at those schools.
We have met with the Principals and Teachers at each school, and their enthusiasm is definite. They see the benefits, and were brainstorming additional uses of the gardens almost immediately.
Funding: 2 benefactors have donated $65 which was spent on half price mulch and topsoil.
Grant opportunities include asking the Greater Greenbrier Indivisible and The Women’s March – Lewisburg Huddle for a grant of $400, and assembling a group to attend the Families Leading Change Conference in Fairmont Sept 22-23 which will qualify us for a grant of up to $2000. Vicki Cline, Director of Technology/Testing Greenbrier County Schools has offered to help write that grant. 8.23.17