University of Maryland Extension

Arnold Elementary Youth Garden

The Arnold Elementary Youth Garden is an Anne Arundel County Master Gardener approved project that provides education to the school community on conservation landscaping, native gardening, and mindfulness in nature. 

This project is currently in a holding pattern as we wait for approval to break ground on a new garden at the renovated school. New garden plans include an outdoor learning space with native pollinator plants that support the elementary science curriculum. Adjacent gardens offer seasonal color, texture, and a variety of spring early blooming and fall late blooming pollinator plants for the benefit of students, who are not present during summer. The garden also provides a chance for students and parents to volunteer by maintaining the gardens. 

Some history is needed to understand why new gardens are now in the works. The project was established in 2014 at Arnold Elementary on Joyce Lane through a Unity Gardens grant. However in 2016, this school and garden was demolished to make way for a new school (most plants were dug up and replanted at students’ families homes). The project was re-established at the students’ temporary school, Severn River Middle, for two years. Finally, Arnold students moved into the new school in 2019, however when schools closed in Spring 2020 due to Covid, a new garden had not yet been established. In Fall 2020, the new project chair submitted plans to the school district for three new gardens in the school’s courtyard area and is awaiting approval. We hope to be able to use Master Gardener volunteers in Spring 2021, provided garden plans are approved and Covid restrictions are lifted. 

Arnold Elementary School's Principal Shauna Kauffman is highly supportive of the Arnold Youth Garden Project and the help of the Master Gardeners. There is great passion and interest in environmental conservation, which is demonstrated by Arnold Elementary School’s “Green School” accreditation in 2009. Additionally, the school has a Terrapin Program and Butterfly Program. Mrs. Kauffman is excited to see students, teachers, parents, and staff working with Master Gardeners to learn more about nature, gardening, and mindfulness in nature. If you are interested in volunteering for Arnold Elementary Youth Garden, please contact the Project Chair, Joni Miller (see directory for contact information).

 

 

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