Continues Advocacy for School Gardens

To celebrate the sustainability and academic success of the school’s garden, representatives from Congressman Wally Herger’s (R-Chico) and California Assemblyman Dan Logue’s (R-Chico) staffs, Butte County’s Wil-Ker-Son Ranch and Western Growers Foundation joined students and teachers last month in Chico Country Day School’s outdoor classroom for a surprise presentation.

“[We’re] very pleased to join Western Growers Foundation and Butte County’s Wil-Ker-Son Ranch in visiting the school’s garden,” said Herger. “Chico Country Day School is a shining example of how to demonstrate good eating through proper nutrition while showcasing our agricultural bounty here in the north state.”

Chico Country Day School planted its garden in 1996, and has managed it well on a limited budget. In 2009, WGF provided a $1,500 school garden grant, garden supplies and teacher resources to help sustain the outdoor classroom. Today, the garden is thriving and provides opportunities for teachers to present science, physical education, language arts, social studies, math and nutrition education for all grade levels (K-8).

To recognize the garden’s success, WGF, along with Fran Peace,Herger’s district director and Desta Bechtol from Butte County’s Wil-Ker-Son Ranch, visited students in their outdoor class room and presented them with two new wheel barrows, hand tools, hoes and rakes as well as a couple bags of top-soil. Additionally, Bechtol delivered a brief lesson on farming and talked about the joys and challenges of growing kiwis. The

students were surprised to find out precisely how healthy kiwis are for them.

“Butte County is a wonderful place to farm, and I hope these students will learn to appreciate how vital this county’s family farmers are to the community, state and the nation,” said Bechtol. 

“Visiting Chico Country Day School was a great joy,” said WGF Administrator Briana Lewis. “The administration, students and community have been hard at work for many years, creating an outdoor classroom that enhances curriculum, connects students to agriculture, and inspires healthy eating. We are honored to support Chico Country Day School.”

WGF’s vision is a garden in every California and Arizona school and has funded more than 390 schools to date. Western Growers Foundation is a 501(c)

(3) public charity that supports innovative nutrition education projects and programs to create healthy individuals and communities. These projects include online consumer education through Producepedia.com, school-age outreach with the School Garden Program, and efforts that increase access to fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts. Visit Western Growers Foundation at http://www.wga.com/wgf for more information.