A Tulsa non-profit that teaches elementary students about gardening is celebrating 15 years.
The Global Gardens program gives kids more than a green thumb, but skills they can take with them in life. The City of Tulsa is declaring Friday, Jan. 28, 2022, as “Global Gardens Day” to commemorate 15 years. The first garden was started at Eugene Field Elementary School in 2007, and now, Global Gardens has grown to 17 sites in the Tulsa area.
Global Gardens is planting seeds of confidence and skills to grow students into better gardeners and people.
A Tulsa teacher started the non-profit to use gardening to teach science and peace.
The gardens are at elementary and middle schools as well as after-school programs like the Tulsa Dream Center.
"We plant stuff, we cook stuff, and we do experiments,” said 4th grader and Global Gardener Natalie Hutchins.
Each year, after tending the garden and harvesting the food, the students get to cook and eat something they planted.
Executive Director Maryann Donahue said students learn problem-solving skills they can apply outside the garden.
"Through the process of gardening, we are helping students to learn problem-solving skills and to learn that they have the power to create changes. Not only in their small garden plots, that's where it starts, but also in the world around them,” Donahue said.
She says the program's goal is to help them develop confidence, curiosity, and a belief in themselves.
“And that's what we're really going for. We want students to leave our programs knowing that through their own hard work and creativity and problem-solving skills, that they can really do anything,” Donahue said. “"We hear that a lot from our students. That they learned in Global Gardens that they could truly make a difference.”
The program will start again in a couple of weeks.