The Hollywood Garden, our school garden at Hollywood Elementary School in Stevensville, Michigan, serves as a laboratory for plant study and as a place to learn about fresh food. Hollywood's students are involved with maintenance of the garden, and do exploratory classes under the direction of adult volunteers. The Hollywood Garden is the only school garden in our corner of southwestern Michigan that is part of the Edible Schoolyard Network.
The garden includes small square plots dedicated to each grade level. Kids help to plan, plant, maintain and harvest these small gardens. The students are encouraged to taste the produce from the garden, and are often surprised that they actually like a fruit or vegetable that they had never considered eating before!
In addition, there is a Garden Leaders' Club, composed of second- through fifth-graders, that meets after school in the spring and fall, and whose members help to water and weed through the summer.
The garden relies on the Hollywood PTO for financial support. The garden also enjoys the support of volunteers from the school and community, and has benefited from local grant money for specific projects. The latest grant projects involved the addition of a garden pond, a "kitchen cottage" building, and an indoor grow-light tower.