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A School Garden Flourishes in Rural Nevada

| Nevada

Jan 04, 2022

Summary

Children living in Pahrump, Nevada learn more about the importance of eating fresh fruits and vegetables by building their own school garden.  The Floyd Elementary School Garden was built in 2018 through a partnership with Nye Communities Coalition, Green Our Planet, and the Nye County School District.  The garden started with just 6 raised beds, 8 apple trees, and the beginnings of a pollinator garden.  

The garden space has expanded to include:

  • insect ‘hotel’ for the garden friendly pollinators
  • meditative rock labyrinth
  • garden library
  • pumpkin patch
  • herb garden
  • sundial

Challenge

The community of Pahrump is located in a food desert where residents have limited access to healthy food choices, especially when it comes to fresh fruits and vegetables. Helping children to learn about where food comes from and giving them the chance to taste food straight from the garden will encourage healthy eating habits for a lifetime.

Solution

The Floyd Elementary School Garden has been a place of learning and pride for the community.  Over 80 individuals showed up to offer their support on the day of the garden build on January 27, 2018.  During the first year, the focus was on giving the teachers and students opportunities to utilize the garden during the school day.  The second year saw the additions in the garden, Farmer’s Markets, and chef demonstrations.

  • During the first year, 460 students participated in planting or harvesting activities
  • Three Farmer’s Markets were conducted on the school campus
  • Over 250, 4th and 5th graders took part in a chef demonstration facilitated by Green Our Planet
  • Garden Club met year round on Saturdays (During Covid, safety restrictions limited access to one family at a time)
  • Garden Club attended a giant Farmer’s Market hosted by Green Our Planet in Las Vegas
  • S.T.E.A.M. teacher is set up to facilitate the  Green Our Planet Hydroponics program         

 

“It has been such a blast seeing the student’s faces when they pull up the plant and discover a huge radish underneath”  
                              - Teacher’s Comment                                                                                                     

Harvest Day 2019 kids holding up radishes from the garden; Chef demo with green our planet; Garden club 2018 with kids in the garden

“I appreciate that there are opportunities for my child to learn about healthy eating and to get them moving at the same time is great!”
- Parent’s Comment 

Sustaining Success

The success of this project comes from the result of having a strong and enthusiastic garden committee that received on-going support from Green Our Planet.  The school’s S.T.E.A.M teacher was vital in providing leadership among the teachers and parents.  The technical support was provided by the School Custodian/Master Gardener.  Nye Communities Coalition assisted in the collaboration between organizations and the school district. They also assisted in providing a SNAP-Ed Program Coordinator to offer nutrition education opportunities at the garden club and parent engagement meetings.  

The Floyd Elementary School Garden project is well supported by the community with financial contributions made by the Pahrump Master Gardener’s Association and the Pahrump Valley Garden Club.  SNAP-Ed funds are used for educational materials and supplies.  A school wide health assessment is done annually by using the Alliance for a Healthier Generation School Health Survey.
The SNAP-ED Evaluation Framework Indicators addressed were ST1 Healthy Eating, ST3 Physical Activity & Reduced Sedentary Behavior, MT5 Nutrition Supports, and MT6 Physical Activity & Reduced Sedentary Behavior Supports.


Contact Information:  
Tamalyn Taylor, SNAP-Ed Program Coordinator.  
Nye Communities Coalition

Eat Healthy Be Active Logo with drawings of fruits and and a person; Nye Communities Coalition with drawings of people with their arms in the air
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