School Garden Week starts June 2

May 22, 2013 | |

Students at Interlochen Elementary School work with FoodCorps Service Members Daniel Marbury and Kirsten Gerbatsch on their school garden. 

Schools in Leelanau, Grand Traverse, Benzie, and Antrim counties will celebrate the inaugural School Garden Week next month to draw attention to the diversity of school-based gardening projects in our region. From June 2 to June 6, the public is welcome to visit schools for “Garden Tour Days” to learn more about these projects, participate in fun garden activities, and meet the staff that helps run these programs.

“We want to create a buzz around school gardens,” said Michele Worden, one of two new Farm to School Educators working with the Michigan Land Use Institute. “We hope that teachers and parents will visit each others’ school gardens and gain inspiration to take back to their own school communities.”

Each school is hosting its own unique day with support from the Farm to School and FoodCorps team based out of MLUI. Pam Bardenhagen, another Farm to School educator in Leelanau County, Mary Brower with ISLAND in Antrim County, Kirsten Gerbatsch and Daniel Marbury of FoodCorps, and several teachers and Master Gardener volunteers will be located at the school gardens throughout the week to give a tour and speak with visitors.  

School gardens are exciting resources for students and teachers—whether as an outdoor science classroom, a hands-on space to learn about healthy food choices, or a source of fresh produce for the school lunch. No two gardens are alike; they range from indoor hydroponic garden systems to large outdoor hoop houses.

Participating schools include: Suttons Bay Schools, Northport Public School, Leland Public School, and Leelanau Children’s Center in Leelanau County at both the Northport and Leland locations; Platte River Elementary in partnership with Grow Benzie in Benzie County; Central Lake Public School in partnership with ISLAND and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in Antrim County; and Interlochen Elementary School, Traverse Heights Elementary School, Central Grade School, The Greenspire School, and the Children’s Garden at the Traverse Area District Library in Grand Traverse County.

The “Central Grade School Youth and Community Garden Planting Party” will kick off School Garden Week on Sunday, June 2, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. The school community recently broke ground on its garden and needs help planting, weeding, and fundraising for 12 new raised garden beds. The event is donation-based and will feature music by The Accidentals and refreshments.

For more information and details about each School Garden Day, please go to:


Sunday, June 2

Central Grade Elementary Garden Concert 3-6 pm

Monday, June 3

Platte River Elementary 3-5:30 pm
Northport Public School 3:15-5:30 pm
Leelanau Children’s Center, Northport location 3:30-5:30 pm

Tuesday, June 4

Leland Public School 3:30-5:00 pm
Suttons Bay Public School & Leelanau Montessori 3:30-5:30 pm
Leelanau Children’s Center, Leland location 3:30-5:30 pm

Wednesday, June 5

Interlochen Elementary 4-6 pm
Central Lake Elementary 11:30 – 1:30 pm

Thursday, June 6

Traverse Heights Elementary 3:00-5:30 pm
Grand Traverse Area Children’s Garden 3:30 – 5 pm
The Greenspire School 3:30 – 5 pm

Students at Platte River Elementary preparing the soil and planting.

School addresses

Grand Traverse County

â–º Traverse Heights Elementary School: 933 Rose St. in Traverse City; (231)933-6500
â–º Central Grade School: 301 W Seventh St. in Traverse City; (231) 933-5600
â–º Interlochen Elementary School: 3113 Michigan 137 in Interlochen; (231) 933-5920
â–º The Greenspire School: 1026 Red Drive in Traverse City; (231) 946-4400
â–º Grand Traverse Area Children’s Garden: 610 Woodmere Ave. Traverse City; (231) 932-8500

Leelanau County

â–º Northport Public School: 104 S Wing St. in Northport; (231) 386-5153
â–º Leelanau Children’s House in Leland: 111 N. Fifth St. in Leland; (231) 256-7841
â–º Leelanau Children’s House in Northport: 164 S. High St. in Northport; (231) 386-5144
â–º Suttons Bay Public Schools: 500 S Elm St. in Suttons Bay; (231) 271-8603

Benzie County

â–º Platte River Elementary: 11434 Main St. in Honor; (231) 325-3063

Antrim County

â–º Central Lake Elementary: 8190 W State St. in Central Lake; (231) 544-5221

Contact Information

For more information and details about each School Garden Day, please go to:

For more information about the School Garden Week overall, contact Kirsten Gerbatsch at [email protected] or 551-427-8630.

For more information about the event at Central Grade Elementary School, please contact Sam Porter at [email protected] or 231-499-4968.

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