What is that garden on Sherman Street?

In the center of The International School's main campus is the TIS garden. The garden is a place for students to plant vegetables and flowers, grow cover crops and find other intriguing biota from the outside world. Throughout the year, Priscilla Lane (a volunteer parent of a TIS alumna) directs and coordinates with teachers a program that educate students about the world of growing. Pre-k begins with a section about worms. Courses continue through the grades, where students prepare soil in raised beds, plant seeds and bulbs, learn about insects and plant reproduction. The time spent in the garden is fun, educational, and safe. Ultimately, crops are harvested and food prepared so students connect with farm-to-table curriculum. Students are provided with guidance in nutrition as well.

School gardens are a powerful tool for promoting science education, engaging students in healthy behaviors, and fostering a connection to nature. A living laboratory for studying soil, bugs, and plant growth, gardens also teach lessons in teamwork, responsibility, and the results of careful nurturing. Time spent working in a school garden fosters positive associations with physical activity and healthy eating. Incorporating green spaces into school grounds also reduces the need for costly field trips and awakens a sense of curiosity and exploration among students.

At TIS, all of the work in the garden is aimed at promoting the unique opportunities it presents. Priscilla works with the belief that school gardens can play a crucial role in creating a holistic, engaging educational atmosphere for today’s youth: one that encourages hands-on experiences, healthy eating, and curiosity about the natural world.

Working in the garden gives many students an opportunity to step outside their comfort zone and maybe discover a hidden talent. Participating in the planting of the garden gives children a sense of ownership. In the spring, when in bloom, ask your child to show you the garden.

Jackie Calder, TIS Green Committee Volunteer, cleanriveroregon4@yahoo.com

P.S. Click here to read the history of the garden