Youth Educational Outreach
June, 2017 - May, 2018
Meridian Garden Club’s Youth Education Outreach Committee collaborated with Haslett Middle School and the Children’s Enrichment Center to teach future generations the importance of actively participating in the community through gardening. The Committee worked with approximately 100 Haslett Middle School students to plant 400 bulbs outside the school, over a two-week period. Bulb planting became part of the school’s Viking Time “Be Nice” campaign. Committee members covered some basics about gardening such as preparation, weeding, watering, introducing/using tools, safety, and distinguishing between annuals and perennials.
Girl Scout Troop 30318 was recruited to assemble informational fans to help create awareness about the Black Swallow Tail Butterfly for the MGC committee promoting Senate Bill 298, to be used at local events.
In April, Arbor Day was marked by donating books to schools, (Bennett Woods, Cornell, Vera Ralya Elementary, and Wilkshire Early Childhood Center). The listed schools were given information about the Native Tree Planting event at Tower Gardens. Children’s Enrichment Center (CEC) created the “READ” sign with flowers outside CADL Haslett Public Library. The youth planted flowers in 95 degree heat. They learned the rewards of labor. Their persistence to complete the project was admirable. After their hard work, participants were treated to snacks, juice boxes and a discussion about the basics of gardening.
The final project of the year, a plant identification scavenger hunt, was arranged for children. CEC youth painted rocks with flower names from their previous project. This project was a collaborative effort between multiple local organizations. Haslett Beautification Association made plant identification signs that children helped place after learning about the plants. Once all the plants in the flower beds were labeled, the children were taken on a tour of Lake Lansing Park South, highlighting the importance of civic duty and proper etiquette around flower beds. Participants pledged a commitment to respect park rules.
The Youth Education Outreach committee is made up of Melody Potter, Georgia Styka, and Simar Pawar. The consultant was Patty Cotter. Collaborating community organizations were Haslett Public Schools, Okemos Public Schools, Haslett Beautification Association, CEC, and MGC.