WILLARDS, Md. - One Wicomico County Public school is getting a huge help in going green thanks to two local farmers.
A few months ago Willards Elementary School had a plan in place to start a community garden and finish their application to become a go green school, but money was a problem.
“We had put in place some ideas for what we wanted to do to complete our go green project but we were worried where the funds were going to come from,” said PTA president Tonya Lewis.
That was until Kay and Sidney Richardson applied for a grant from the Monsanto Fund through America’s Farmers.
The grant worth $2,500 was awarded to the school's PTA program per the Richardson’s request.
Lewis said the call from Monsanto notifying her of the grant caught her completely off-guard.
“(Tonya) was a little shocked when she gave me a phone call that she had received a call from Monsanto they were getting the money,” Kay Richardson said.
Lewis said the money will go to create the community garden with flowers and produce purchased from Parkside High School’s A plus garden, so all the money stays local.
The new garden will be built next to the playground and reading garden with water partially provided by rain barrels the students built last year.
According to Lewis the garden will feature raised planter boxes with recycled wood donated by Cropper Brothers Lumber Yard and built by community volunteers.
The students at Willards grades kindergarten through third will be tasked with seeding, growing and maintaining.
Kindergarteners like Wesley Stallings say that won't be a problem because they have plenty of experience.
“We're gonna dig out some dirt and put it in the soil and we're going to see it grow some plants,” Stallings said. “You need to give them lots of sun and water because that helps plants grow.”
Principal Regina Rando said once the garden is finished the community will be able to come and harvest.
Rando said for students that will be the most rewarding part.
“I think just coming back with their parents and working in the garden and taking what they've grown and taking it home for their families and to eat that during the summer I think they're going to really, really appreciate it,” Rando said.
Additional money from the grant will be used to help the school continue its go-green initiatives.
Willards actually submitted their application today to become recognized as an official go-green school through the Maryland Association for Environmental and outdoor Education.
According to their website if they are selected they would become the only public school in Wicomico County to currently hold that accreditation.
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