An After School Garden Club was created as a way for the parents of the garden project to step back and allow the students of the school to have a greater involvement with the garden. Not only are the students maintaining and watering the space to give the project more sustainability, they are also the ambassadors of the space; reporting any issues they see with other students or issues with the plants themselves.
Whenever questions arise about how to fully sustain a school garden project, I always say, give it back to the students in the form of a garden club. Allow the students to gather with the support of a facilitator, parent volunteer or teacher to do what the love and put the love into the garden. Hone in on their eagerness to help by creating the time and space. Allow boys to be boys and give them sticks to stake into the ground, break up the compost or dig around to find worms.
Invite other community members especially young teens or university students who already have a passion for the outdoors, sustainability or education to help you out. They don’t have to be experts, they just have to want to be there and show their support. Plus, they can help supervise and do heavier work!
I always have believed in the power of positive peer pressure. What better way to showcase the possibilities of who the students can become when they are surrounded by teens with similar values as what you are trying to express with a school garden program. In essence, these teens become our EnvironMentors 🙂