The Greendale School District is expanding the high school garden to allow for growing even in the middle of a Wisconsin winter.
Through donations and grants from Walmart, Parkland Kiwanis and the Cooperative Education Service Agency, the district plans to construct a hoop-shaped greenhouse so students can enjoy hands-on learning no matter what time of year.
The expansion will also allow teachers to incorporate gardening principles into their lessons.
"We are trying to make our community a better place, and improve the lives of our citizens. The longer growing season at the school garden will allow us to grow vegetables and engage students and community all year round," said School Garden Manager and teacher July Lafond-Salus in a press release.
The garden features eight raised garden beds and numerous foods, including squash, tomatoes, cucumbers and much more, that are included in the school's lunch program and nutrition lessons.
Teachers across grade levels are now identifying garden-based lessons to prepare for summer and fall classes, which will include new course offerings, such as horticulture.
With some food waste items going toward garden compost, officials say the garden project may also save money for the district.
"If we can reduce the volume of solid waste removed, we can save money on our waste transportation costs as well as the material cost for the school garden," said Erin Green, director of business services. "It makes sense to investigate this as an option."
Staff and students of special education and adult cognitive disabilities programs initiated the garden last year. The project has engaged master gardeners, volunteers and expertise from organizations including Growing Power.
The garden expansion is one of several sustainability initiatives the district plans to implement over the next three years, according to a news release.