Welcome to Lewis. If you're new to the school or new to being back on campus full time, we want to introduce you to one aspect that makes Lewis such a special school. Lewis is lucky to have a giant school garden. It is one of the largest such spaces citywide. The garden is made up of many different parts. They include the raised beds in front of the 5th grade and kindergarten classrooms, the two rain gardens that filter stormwater on the blacktop, the butterfly garden along SE Evergreen made up of native plants that attract pollinators, and the back garden space that sits behind the school.
The main garden space on the backside of the school spans the entire building length. There is a large vegetable garden space that has been recently overhauled and raised beds built by a local Boy Scouts troop. We have been growing food for our kids to graze and to serve members of our community who are food insecure. There are also large areas of native and shade garden, including the old apple trees that line the fence along SE Glenwood that actually pre-date the school. There are tons of hidden gems including prior class art projects, a totem pole, and two outdoor shelters. Our students and staff were lucky to be able to make use of this large space last year to help spread out classes and use more outdoor space. They will continue to do so this year. We are also currently in the process of having the whole garden certified as Native Habitat with the Backyard Habitat program.
If you are interested in learning more or getting involved, we invite you to join our motley crew. There are many ways to get involved. We always encourage individuals to bring their families and join a work party. We have these roughly every month or two. Given how large the garden spaces are, we need as much help as people can offer. Participating in work parties provides a sense of pride and ownership and helps us teach our children the practice of volunteering. A well-loved garden space is part of a well-loved and maintained school. We are proud of Lewis and looking for folks to help us build and grow what we have. Our first work party is scheduled for Saturday, September 18 from 10 AM - 12 PM.
Another way to get involved is by attending and contributing to our Garden Committee at meetings. The first Garden Committee meeting of the year will be held Saturday, September 25th from 11 to 12 in the back garden under the shelter. Please come wearing a mask. We will be meeting outside and socially distant. If you cannot make the meeting but are interested in learning more, please email Lewis parent Pauline Ruegg at email@example.com
Lastly, we always encourage folks to peek in and explore the garden spaces. The kinder beds are a great chance for children to pick a cherry tomato, munch on some beans, or explore the seeds inside a sunflower. The back garden space is open every day during school hours. We encourage you to pick an apple, find a bird nest, stay and play for a while and come to love the space as much as we do. See you out in the garden.