Gardening & Nature Studies

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Our vision: Inspired by the work of Rudolf Steiner, PRWS seeks to cultivate renewal through the integration of education and agriculture by engaging in a unique mix of social, cultural and economic endeavors.

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In today’s world the youngest children need more outdoor time and purposeful work; the grades students want to know more about the world through hands-on projects; the high school students want to engage the world in a real-life business. We meet these needs by educating and inspiring children through hands-on experiences in the garden and in nature.

Former teacher Steve Lawless began building the foundation of the garden program in 2006 when he worked with his fourth grade class in the Flower Basket greenhouse growing winter greens. Soon after, they moved to an outdoor garden area, with the blessing of Al and Kim Petersen, owners of that property which is a block from school. Many foods used in our organic hot lunch program have been grown in the school garden. The school also added a greenhouse just outside the school kitchen in 2010 to expand our local growing experiences.

The gardening program took a great step forward in 2015 with the purchase of The Flower Basket property. A new Garden Program Coordinator, Erica Pfeiffer, working with Arwyn Wildingway who has led the garden program since 2008, is expanding on the gardening curriculum and developing plans to make improvements this spring. We will build new raised-beds that create planting areas that are appropriate for different ages. This work has been supported by several grants and will enlist the help of Youth Initiative High School students.

Arwyn is also the Grower Manager for The Flower Basket LLC, the new PRWS social enterprise (www.prwsflowerbasket.org). She and Erica collaborate in planning activities that also enhance or complement activities for the business. Establishing this social enterprise is a complex work in progress. We are learning how to operate the for-profit business while utilizing volunteer hours from students in the grades, high school and adults within the community; and to utilize this asset to create educational opportunities for our communities. Summer Camps will be offered during the summer of 2016.

 

FB Wade childrenWe are grateful for grants to fund these activities from:

Kitchen Gardners International

Mid-States Shared Gifting Program of RSF Social Finance

Organic Valley

Paul E. Stry Foundation

Scotts Miracle Grow Company

Vernon Memorial Healthcare

Whole Kids Foundation

 

 

 

Donations of tools, cash, and volunteer time are always welcome. Contact our Development Office at (608)637-8504 or mary@pleasantridgewaldorf.org
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