Chimacum Elementary’s School Garden Program, produced in partnership with the Community Wellness Project, currently grows fruit, vegetables, culinary and medicinal herbs, and ornamental plants. The Budding Botanist grant will allow Chimacum Elementary to add a new program element—native plant propagation and habitat restoration project using the elementary school’s campus, garden, and greenhouse. This program will have two components: an on-site native prairie restoration project, in collaboration with the nonprofit Olympic Peninsula Prairies, and propagation of native riparian plants for habitat restoration along local salmon-bearing streams, including Chimacum Creek. These will enable the garden program to reach beyond the basics of growing food to include a rich, project-based element focused on biodiversity, conservation biology, ecosystem restoration, and environmental stewardship.
Once established, Chimacum Elementary hopes to have native plants available to share with others in the community working toward habitat restoration, including native rain shadow prairies and streamside riparian zones. The Budding Botanist grant supports the schools work to more elegantly support Chimacum Elementary School’s core mission & vision--using a Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math (STEAM) framework to give students deep, rich, community-connected experiences that allow them to learn while making a contribution to their community, ecosystem, and bioregion. Students grow, learn, and thrive when they have the opportunity to do work that is valued and valuable. For more information, please contact Chimacum Elementary Principal Jason Lynch.