When it comes to new Trailside garden, students dig it | ParkRecord.com

When it comes to new Trailside garden, students dig it

A handful of Trailside Elementary School students and parents slipped on work gloves Monday afternoon and grabbed shovels.

There was much work to be done but their excitement was palpable. They were helping to create a garden on the east side of the school, where one day soon, they hope, all kinds of edible plants will grow.

Sarah Tessler is the parent volunteer who organized the creation of the garden through EATS Park City, a local organization that promotes healthy eating in local schools. After getting a $750 grant from the Park City Rotary Club for fresh soil this spring, Tessler’s goal of starting a student garden at the school quickly became a reality.

"I wanted to do it eventually, but I just didn’t realize how soon it was going to happen," she said.

Tessler said they will plant perennial herbs, such as sage and thyme. The hope is that EATS Park City will be able to use what they grow to make healthy meals for students.

"We’ll just see what grows best in our environment," she said.

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Jade Manning, a third grader at Trailside, was one of the students eager to help. Wearing gloves that were too large for her hands, she explained that gardening runs in her family. So when she saw people getting ready to work on the garden Monday, she wanted to join.

"My dad plants a lot, so I was thinking it would be cool if I could help because I’ve been really wanting to make my own garden," she said. "I love watching life cycles and things like that, and that’s kind of what gardening is. You plant the seeds, do the dirt and everything and then it grows."

Tessler was pleased to see students excited to garden. She said it’s important for all students to know that their food doesn’t start out in grocery store aisles.

"I think they need to know where their food comes from," she said. "We should know that it comes from the ground. And it tastes so much better, too. I have some asparagus growing in my yard, and nothing compares to it. You just break it off and it’s wonderful."

The plan is for students to take ownership of the garden. Tessler is looking for student volunteers to weed, harvest and otherwise maintain it throughout the summer. She said those who do may find a lifelong hobby.

"It’s something they can pick up and do for the rest of their lives," she said. "Like me — my grandfather gardened and I guess it rubbed off. It’s a sustainable way of life."

Aspen Hess was one student who will be returning throughout the summer.

"It’s fun to get your hands dirty and help out," she said.

To volunteer, contact Tessler at sarahtessler211@gmail.com.

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