LAKE PLACID - Students at the Lake Placid Elementary School put their artistic skills to the test recently to help create signs for their grade-level gardens.
Tom Dodd, advisor for the school's Environmental Club, put together a contest for students to create signs to explain what will be planted in classroom gardens this spring. The response to the contest was great, Dodd said, as nearly every student in the school created a sign.
Nine winners were selected, and their signs were mounted on a wooden base.
Students at Lake Placid Elementary School show off signs that will be used to identify plants in classroom gardens.
Dodd said every year, each grade level selects a plant or vegetable to plant in the spring. Family caretakers then tend to the plants over summer vacation, and in the fall, the students harvest their crops.
This year's crop will include sunflowers, pumpkins, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, black-eyed susans, squash, zucchini and watermelon.
"The classroom gardens are a great way to tie in lessons on the plant cycle with the real life experience of growing and harvesting a crop," Dodd said in a press release. "This year we are expanding the garden project to include new raised beds that will produce food crops for the school cafeteria."
The raised plant beds are being built in conjunction with FRIENDS, the parent organization at the elementary school.
"Since starting the school garden project three years ago, our hope has been to expand the gardens to include fruits and vegetables that can be harvested and used in the cafeteria," said Jenn Tufano, garden coordinator for FRIENDS. "With Mr. Dodd's help, and with our expanded garden beds, this looks to be a reality next fall.
"The garden project is also an extension of the Paw Print Park natural playground just furthering the opportunities to get kids outside and connected to their surroundings," Tufano added.
LPES Principal Javier Perez said the garden project is a "great learning opportunity" for students.
"It is an activity that has great academic value and life lessons all in one," he said. "This is a great way to show students what can come from their hard work. I am very excited about our school participating in this type of activity."