LEXINGTON, Ky. (4/23/13)— Veterans Park Elementary celebrated Earth Day 2013 with a visit from Kentucky’s first lady, Jane Beshear, who read “Miss Rumphius” to a group of students gathered in the school’s garden.
“Because you’ve planted these seeds, you’ve made the world a little more beautiful,” she told the kids, just like Alice in the story. “You all are contributing to making the world healthier and more beautiful.”
Beshear kicked off Veterans Park’s second annual Garden & Green Week, which includes a waste-free lunch, no-idling reminders in the car line and a picnic in the garden. On a sunny Monday afternoon, students showed the first lady their handiwork, featuring perennial flowers, herbs, knockout roses and a sensory garden with lamb’s ear, rosemary, lavender and lemon grass.
“We have six beds, and they all have a theme. Teachers who are interested in gardening have stepped up, and we hope to expand all the way down the back of the school someday,” said Julie Bradley, who serves on the PTA’s green committee. “There’s not a day where you don’t see kids wandering around in that garden. When they come to the playground, they go in the garden. Parents also appreciate and walk through it.”
Beshear, a former teacher, praised its potential as an active, outdoor classroom. “They can teach science and math and communication and teamwork – all those skills kids need for life,” she said. “These children are learning about healthy foods and also community service,” she added. “What they don’t eat, they’ll donate to a food bank.”
Beshear thanked the students for their creative invitation and encouraged them to keep reading and gardening. “Those two things go together,” she said. “There’s not a way we can save our environment if we can’t read and participate.”
Information and photo provided by Tammy Lane
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