The Salida School District is fortunate to have three different gardens on school district property: The Salida Middle School Garden, initiated and managed by teachers Bryan Lamont and Samantha Bhan in 2010, The Longfellow Elementary Garden, which will be fully constructed in spring 2015, and the Salida School Garden – Holman Ave. Site, managed by Guidestone.
Since 2012, the Holman site garden has been developed to include just under an acre of production area on Salida School District land that is home to an orchard, raised and in-ground beds, a tool shed, a poly-house and nineteen 150’ long production rows. The full 4-acre site is fenced for deer protection, and ready for further expansion. Just under 3,000 lbs. of garden produce has been incorporated into district meals since the beginning of the program. Produce is also sold through local markets such as the Free Summer Lunch Program, the Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center, Youth Farm Stand, local grocers, and restaurants to help support the program.
Additionally, the garden is used as an outdoor classroom for many hands-on, experiential, environmental education-based learning opportunities with the Salida School District and greater community.
We use sustainable and innovative agricultural practices and incorporate these skills and knowledge in all of our experiential education programs at the school garden. These programs include: summer garden camps, Friday Enrichment programs, Salida School District field trips, and youth corps programs offered through Southwest Conservation Corps.
As thrilling as the garden itself is the energy, generosity, and collaboration from the community and partners to make this garden program a reality. We are extremely grateful for the support, and are excited to watch the garden program develop. Together, we are building a healthy community!