By Portia Williams
It has been two years in the making, but the Community Action Head Start located at Hutchins Street now has a garden at its location. CAO Head Start and Scioto Soil and Water Conservation District have partnered to bring the garden project into fruition.
Conservation Education Coordinator Kate Sowards, said they have been working diligently to get the garden project going.
“I work throughout the county, doing agricultural and environmental education. I have been working here at Head Start with Sara Slone for about two years now, planning this project. We have a native pollinator garden of plants that we won at a conference actually,” Sowards said. “I have them here, we have them delivered and we’re going to plant them in this section.”
According to Sowards, pollinators are people who interested in wildlife and nature.
“We are going to plant some flowers, and trees and as we work on this project during the coming months we’re going to put in some bird-feeders, and give the children a place to come and monitor the flowers, to see the butterflies,” Sowards said.
Sara Slone, education manager at Highland Head Start, said they are excited about the new garden project.
“We are just super-excited about this, we have been wanting to do this for a very long time time. We are putting the pollinator garden in, in stages. This is just a wonderful thing to be involved in, and to have people in the community that support what the children are learning, and what they are doing here,” Slone said.
Slone said it is also a great opportunity for families to learn and spend quality time together.
“I think that we have children and families that do not have room for a garden like this, and they can come and visit, and spend time with their children in the garden, and see what a difference it can make in the environment around the school. We are hoping to get lots of butterflies, and lots of birds,” Slone said.
Sowards said the objective of SSWCD is to provide as many people as possible with the resources to start their own gardens.
“We have native pollinator seeds that we’re giving out to Scioto County residents. All they have to do is give us a call, or stop by the office, and we’ll give them a pack of seeds for their own homes, and we will advise them in planting them. We are also offering larger packs of seeds to groups that might want to do projects, such as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, garden clubs, church groups, anyone that wants to plant native pollinator gardens,” she said. “We are offering these seeds until they run out.”
She said staying indoors has become the norm for kids in today’s society.
“Now, more and more, we have kids that stay inside, I asked a kid in a program recently, “Have you ever just stayed outside and played all day long? He said, “No I just stay in and play video games.”
She said the child’s remarks are reflective of the norm, something she and SSWCD want to help with.
“This is a common thing, but if we don’t get out and connect with nature, then how are we going to care about it?” she asked.
SSWCD is also involved in two other local community gardening projects, at the 14 Street, and the Portsmouth Public Library.
To learn more about the gardening projects contact Scioto Soil & Water Conservation District office at 740-259-9231, or visit their location at 12167A State Route 104 in Lucasville, or visit the website at: www.sciotoswcd.org.
Portia Williams can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 286, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.