We at the Marguerite Montgomery Elementary garden, have been working hard to rebuild and regrow our school garden thanks to the help and dedication of many. Please join us for a celebration of this new California Native Garden at Marguerite Montgomery Elementary School on Sunday, March 12th from 1 to 3 p.m. in front of the school at 1441 Danbury Street.
Children in our gardening classes have been working hard on planting and mulching our new garden since last October and the first phase of planting is almost complete. You can help us with the finishing touches, by putting up the new plant signs with watercolors painted by MME students. Come this Sunday from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. to tour the garden and learn about CA native plants.
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A team of UC Davis interns enrolled in a sustainable landscaping class, Community Participation, Design and Planning, has helped with this project and will be on hand to share their experience. We have also had help from UC Master Gardeners and generous donations of plants from Pat Dressendorfer, Patricia Carpenter and MME families.
We’d like to thank the many parent volunteers who have come to weekend work parties to make this happen, as well as gardening coordinators from Cesar Chavez, Birch Lane and Pioneer Elementary schools who have volunteered, plus Jen McNeill, MME’s new principal, the MME PTA, Jeri Ohmart from Davis Farm to School and the DJUSD Maintenance team, who have all supported us in making this vision become a reality.
This first phase focuses on pollination, with native plants and flowers that attract birds, bees, butterflies, and even bats to our campus. Pam Disney’s 3rd grade students have been writing books on bats and they are one of several classes that will be lucky to have a visit from bat expert Corky Quirk from the Yolo Basin Foundation.
The second phase next fall will include removing the remaining lawn to plant native grasses and CA wildflowers to create a meadow, and adding Narrowleaf Milkweed from Hedgerow Farms to attract Monarch butterflies. The garden will also include a riparian area where students can explore the trees and plants along a woodland path.
We are looking for volunteers to help build rustic benches for our outdoor classroom, design and build an owl house, and help us identify and monitor birds with the upper grades. The students in Jazmin Rojo’s 5th /6th grade class have been working on bird identification cards in English and Spanish.
This important project continues the work done by MME and other schools in the district to transition our gardens and lawns to CA native plants that are drought tolerant, part of a larger project of DJUSD to reduce water usage on our all school campuses.
Judy Leatherman, MME Gardening Coordinator
See and download the flyer for the event here! We hope to see you at the garden on Sunday the 12th!