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Extension > Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds, Healthy Learners > I'd rather be in the garden...


On this blog, we share regular updates about the Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds, Healthy Learners partnership between Extension's Children, Youth & Family Consortium and Bruce Vento Elementary School.

Friday, April 22, 2016

I'd rather be in the garden...

By Judy Myers

Saturday, April 9 was unexpectedly cold and breezy, but the weather didn’t stop 10 intrepid volunteers who worked outdoors at Bruce Vento Elementary School. With the help of these hardy souls, we built new raised beds for Bruce Vento's schoolyard garden and spread mulch to keep weeds from growing around the new beds. In advance of this work day, Principal Scott Masini called Washington Technology Magnet School to request student volunteers to help with the construction. His contact there said that students are always eager to help with community projects. In spite of being the end of spring break, students James, Jesus, and Paul joined us in this venture. We were grateful for the enthusiasm and persistence they brought to their work.

James, Jesus and Paul helping Principal Scott and Kirsten build the raised beds.

Rochelle and Kirsten moving soil to the new beds
The three students, Heather Perkl and Diane Giovanazzi (Bruce Vento teachers), Principal Masini, and Master Gardener Rochelle Robideau joined Kirsten Saylor, one of the leaders with Schoolyard Gardens Coalition, to complete the garden restoration in quick time. Officer Cindy Rost, St. Paul Police Department showed up several times during the morning to take photos and work with volunteers to move soil to the new beds.

We'd hoped that when students return to school from spring break on April 11, they’d find six new cedar beds with sturdy metal corner braces that will much more easily withstand years of gardening and temperature changes. Teachers and students alike are eager to get planting this spring. Early plans include growing salsa and salad gardens as well as a garden that incorporates seeds cultivated from a Hmong family garden.

Stay tuned for updates on what’s growing at Bruce Vento.


Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies, Healthy Learners is an ongoing partnership between the Extension Children, Youth, and Family Consortium and the Bruce Vento Elementary School. Together, along with many other partners, we are developing engaging learning environments that promote student learning and wellness.

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