The Lockeland Design Center garden will be comprised of three connected areas: a raised bed food production area, a butterfly garden area, and a school classroom area. The garden is to be located in the back of the school, just outside the cafeteria. This area was chosen for both it’s proximity to an existing water source, and for security as it located within a fenced area.
The raised bed area is the largest of the three areas and will be made up of fifteen 4’by 4’ beds, one for each class in the school. The raised bed borders will be of a concrete block design. The blocks are to be decorated by the children prior to installation. The production crops to be planted in the beds include: radishes, a variety of greens including lettuces, spinach, kale, collards, and chard, broccoli, strawberries, squash, corn, tomatoes, peppers, okra, potatoes, beans, carrots, beets, onions, cucumbers and peas. In addition to vegetables, a variety of herbs will be planted along the borders and will be interspersed with the vegetables. All vegetables and herbs will be started from seed when possible, and will enhance the current science curriculum which already incorporates a unit on seed starting. The food production garden will also enhance many other areas of the science and math curriculums such as the study of plant science, soil science, graphs, measurements, temperature, fractions, and nutrition. Students will be able to enjoy food harvested from the raised beds and prepared by volunteers in the school cafeteria.
The butterfly garden area will include 9 varieties of plants including a Chaste tree. The plants were chosen for their ability to attract native pollinators such as bumble bees and butterflies. The close proximity of the butterfly garden to the vegetable garden will aid in pollination of the food crops. A science unit on butterflies is already part of the existing science curriculum at Lockeland. Students will be able to take advantage of the butterfly garden when exploring the butterfly unit. Biology and ecology curriculums will be supported in the butterfly garden as well.
The outdoor classroom area will include a terraced seating area leading down to a platform or stage area. In this area, entire classes will gather for instruction, demonstrations, and performances.
The Lockeland garden design is to be executed in three phases. In the first phase, the existing sod will be removed from the outdoor classroom area and butterfly garden area. The butterfly garden plants and the outdoor classroom terrace and stage are then to be installed. In the second phase, the existing sod and gravel will be removed from the food production area, and the raised beds will be installed. We hope to complete phase one in the fall of 2011 and estimate that 3 to 5 work days will be needed for this phase. Phase two will be completed in the spring of 2012 in time for the planting of spring crops and will take 2 to 4 work days to install. The third phase will include the installation of the bicycle racks/bollards and the low fencing that border the garden. The benches, rain barrels, and bird and bat houses will also be installed in this final phase in the summer of 2012, in time for the beginning of the 2012/13 school year. The final phase will take approximately two work days to install. East Nashville Boy Scout Troop 3 has expressed an interest in helping, which would fulfill the need for community service hours as well as serve as a possible Eagle project for one or more of the boys. In addition to parent and teacher volunteers, we will be asking for help from the community for the installation.
The Lockeland Garden Committee, along with students, staff and parent volunteers, plan to work with Metro Nashville Public Schools to implement all approved "garden to cafeteria" programs and curriculum supported activities. Reaching out to the larger community is also a focus, with seed starting, gardening and other related classes planned in the future.