Building a Garden to Offer Students Healthy Eating Options

BUTLER TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- A group of students and volunteers got together in Schuylkill County to put the finishing touches on a huge garden.

It's designed to offer students healthier eating options, but it will also benefit the public.

"We started the community garden project because Schuylkill County ranks high in obesity and inactivity and there are food deters, especially for fresh produce," said Jeanne Elberfeld, Schuylkill County's Vision.

So Schuylkill County's Vision, a non-profit organization that looks to improve quality of life through partnerships brought it's community garden project to North Schuylkill Elementary School near Frackville.

Thursday, the garden was installed and deemed complete.

This massive garden made possible thanks to a collection of grants and donations.

"I think it's terrific. It is very important that we teach our children about being able to grow plants and learning to plant and be self-sufficient and harvest what we grow," said Mary Anne Woodward, North Schuylkill School Board.

The garden is almost 50 yards long. That's almost half the size of a football field.

It includes 13 plants and vegetables including lettuce, tomatoes, celery, eggplant, peppers, parsley, carrots, cantaloupe, watermelon, spinach, radishes, broccoli, and cauliflower.

So, the students within the school district are going to be able to eat these clean, natural, but the garden will also be open to the public.

"What we teach the kids is to eat a rainbow of foods, so they eat all different colors. That way they get all of their different vitamins, minerals, and micro-nutrients," said Elberfield.

"My favorite thing was planting. At first, I thought I didn't want to plant, but I love planting. It was fun," said Brady Minahan, a third grader.

We've seen no shortage of rain across our area, so these plants should have no trouble flourishing.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.