Marion Students Learn and Grow in Outdoor Lab


By Evie Allen
By Randy Livingston

MARION -- Students at a Williamson County grade school are taking their lessons outdoors. Washington Elementary School in Marion has an outdoor learning lab where students help maintain a flower and vegetable garden. 

"I'd like to plant oranges and apples out here," said fourth grader Blaine Mayo.

Students have started the year learning how to maintain the school's garden. They're helping take care of more than fifty different types of plants. That includes vegetables like tomatoes, peppers and now pumpkins.

"It's fun, and it's good to get outdoors," said Mayo.

The garden has been a source of education for about eight years at the school. Teachers Rosemary Gribble and Karen Powell have their fourth and fifth graders tending the garden at least once a week.

"I always said it was about not just pride in your school, but something you can take out into the community," said Gribble.

Powell said this is an opportunity to teach students how to grow their own food.

"So that as a child and then and into adulthood, that they are able to learn to feed themselves," added Powell.

The kids have even learned how to make homemade salsa with the vegetables.

"I think it's really cool because you plant something and then it comes out a whole different thing," said Zoey Fern.

Administrators said they look forward to adding more plants to the garden in the future. Leftover vegetables are donated to the local food pantry and the school cafeteria.
Marion Regional
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