Jeffers Foundation

A Garden For Every School



Bigfork School

  • Serves students in grades K-12
  • Idea for a garden came from a Community Health Needs Assessment
  • Project was a partnership with master gardeners and local gardening club
  • Garden shared by Summer School Learning Academy
  • Have a fence that is used as a trellis for growing certain veggies
  • Have six 4' x 5' raised garden beds
  • Storage shed located on premise

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More Bigfork School Details
In October 2015, a Bigfork Community Health Needs Assessment determined that obesity was the most serious physical health concern for the community. A group of Bigfork citizens called a meeting under the banner of Healthy Community Conversations, proposing various ideas to address the con-cern. One of the committee’s proposals was to acquaint children with good gardening practices and eating healthy foods that were grown locally. Hence, the children were exposed to good gardening practices, with the hope of instilling a love for gardening, which could continue throughout their lives. Not only could students acquire the habits of successful gardening, but also the values of healthy eating. They built garden beds along a fence, which they used as a trellis to grow cucum-bers, peas and morning glories. They built six 4’x 5' raised garden beds which contained vegetables: (scarlet runner beans, bush beans, potatoes, squash, tomatoes) and flowers: (marigolds, bachelor buttons, zinnias, and blueberries. They also planted three apple trees. The students participated in the final decision of what was to be grown. The Bigfork School Summer Learning Academy, as well as summer programs in Bigfork, led by North Homes Children & Family Services, also used the gar-den for various educational projects throughout the summer.

Student learning goals included an appreciation of where food comes from; importance of plant sci-ence, ecology and the environment; how plants grow and the benefits of healthy eating. A success-ful partnership among students, teachers, parents, and community volunteers ensure the continuity of the garden in the years ahead. Having a voice in the planning and execution of the project result-ed in their ongoing commitment to the project.

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