The third grade students at Bishop Elementary School have been hard at work in ESLT’s garden this spring, planting and measuring sunflowers, catching worms and rolly pollys, smelling sage and oregano, and learning some of our native flowers.

The students learn their state flower

Our project began in late April, when I visited the students in their classrooms and helped them plant seeds and learn about parts of a sunflower, germination, and the life cycle of a flower. After their sunflowers had sprouted, they walked over to the ESLT office with their teachers, Mrs. Steck and Mrs. Hamilton, and planted each of their seedlings along our fence. Once again, giant yellow sunflowers will be poking their heads over the fence at the land trust this summer.

A third grader prepares to plant his seedling

I have really enjoyed getting to know these students and helping them grow plants, some for the first time, and connect to the soil and the land around them. The classes will make two more trips to our office to continue tracking the growth of their sunflowers, learning about ecological processes, and enjoying and exploring the vibrant mini-ecosystem of our garden.

Digging in the dirt