Hill College biology students spent Wednesday building a campus garden at Santa Fe Elementary School as part of a grant project funded by the Cleburne Education Foundation.
The garden grant, which Cleburne ISD teacher Shauna Boles applied for, will provide learning opportunities for students in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade, science teacher Sonja Goodloe said.
“There will be no pesticides used at all,” Goodloe said. “We’re going to be looking at companion gardening. We’ll be planting things that repel pests ... building bug traps, using different ways to repel pests that are natural.”
Hill College professor and former Cleburne High School valedictorian Lori Rose said the project was a test grade for her students, who readily dug in and started putting the garden together. In her course, students find ways to give back in the community while working their curriculum in.
Using items like cardboard and compost, the garden provides natural weed protection as well as water conservation, she said, adding that pallet gardening, which makes use of recycled items, is an inexpensive and relatively easy way to put a garden together.
“Everything was donated,” she said. “The cardboard came from the college and other people in the community. The pallets came from local landscaping businesses and Johns Manville. Mulch was donated by the city. Pretty much the only thing that cost money today was the compost.”
Students, on Wednesday, planted fall vegetables such as lettuce, radishes, beets, carrots and spinach. Many of the seeds for the garden came from Rose’s personal garden at home. While the college students were done with their part of the garden after setting it up and planting, they planned to make brochures and information sheets for the elementary students so they weren’t left in the dark about how to take care of the plants.