Cleveland Public School District’s Wellness Committee is making plans to revitalize their existing “wide-open-spaces” style school garden to become more accessible. A collaboration of students, teachers, and community members will build raised beds that will make the space elderly, handicap, and stroller accessible. This will make gardening, as both a science and skill, more appealing and less intimidating to students and community members.

A Brown, Nicollet, Le Sueur, and Waseca Counties Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (BNLW SHIP) grant will allow the district to build seven raised beds for the garden, fill them with quality soil, raise fresh edible plants, thereby increasing the school’s natural ecology, agriculture, woodwork, engineering, and science skills.

“This would meet our District Wellness goals to engage students and community more, and enable us to grow, serve, and eat more fresh vegetables through school lunches,” expressed Kally Remiger, RN, BSN, PHN, LSN, Cleveland School Nurse.

The garden will be a launch point for various hands-on education.  Kitchen staff will also work with students to safely harvest the food for school meal prep and service each fall. The entire community, including local daycares, 4-H and Scouts programs, is invited to water, weed and enjoy the garden in the summer months.

This project aligns with BNLW SHIP’s goal to create healthier communities by expanding access to fruits and vegetables. For more information about partnering with BNLW SHIP, contact Leah Mahoney at (507) 934-7221 or visit https://www.health.state.mn.us/ship.