Students, community enhance gardens at Old Town Elementary School

The grounds at Old Town Elementary School grew a bit lusher this spring when the University of Maine teamed up with members of the local community to build raised garden beds

The garden expansion and improvement project was led by four UMaine sustainable agriculture seniors, Emma Sanchi, Gradeigh Cameron, Ben Nelson, and Matt Derrah, for their capstone projects under the guidance of Dr. Aaron Hoshide, a faculty associate in university’s School of Economics. The students chose the project due to their enthusiasm for helping younger students learn about growing plants and the food system that nourishes them.

“This partnership and project between the University and Old Town Elementary School will provide opportunities for outdoor learning and the garden produce will be used to stock an eventual food pantry for our community,” said Renee St Peter, a teacher at Old Town Elementary School.

The project brought together over 80 people, including Old Town Elementary School students, parents, and teachers and 32 University of Maine students including those enrolled in an economics course called World Food, Population and Environment. University of Maine faculty and students also lent their expertise to the group. Parks, recreation, and tourism senior, Ian Hathaway, designed signs for the garden for his capstone project.

Sustainable ag old town elementary garden