ScottsMiracle-Gro Helps Turn 7th Graders into Environmental Stewards

ScottsMiracle-Gro Foundation Hometown Grants fund green development in Union County
Oct 2, 2019 4:45 PM ET
Blog

The land around Bunsold Middle School in Marysville, Ohio is a hub for the local community. Sports teams, community clubs and businesses, as well as numerous school groups, utilize the space on a daily basis. That’s why 7th grade science teacher Suzi Clarridge decided to put her students to work enhancing the school grounds with new garden and landscape projects. But even more so, it was a chance to teach her students firsthand about environmental stewardship.

A team of 110 7th graders, along with 95 environmental science enrichment students, brainstormed, researched, collaborated, designed and constructed the various garden and greenspace projects across the school property. Together, the students created and enhanced greenspaces that welcome visitors but also teach the environmental benefits of biodiversity.  Their projects included:

  • pollinator/rain garden which removed invasive species and relocated overpopulated native plants
  • bio-retention milkweed garden for increasing pollinator habitat and improving parking lot runoff retention
  • perennial flower beds for beautification and use by students and staff for event decorations
  • riparian learning lab that included 10 new blue spruce trees along riparian trail entrance 
  • doorway entrance garden where students remediated and planted annuals to welcome visitors
  • entrance landscapes which students designed, measured, removed heavy clay soil, replaced with 60 bags of new soil, and planted bushes, perennial flowers and annuals

Clarridge reports that the project allowed her students to gain hands-on experience working in outdoor labs and to learn about the human impact on plants, pollinators, soils, and water conservation. She has plans to expand the project next year with help from her new classes of students. 

The Bunsold Middle School project was supported by The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation Hometown Community Garden and Greenspace Grant Fund. This fund, housed at The Union County Foundation in Marysville, Ohio, supports all types of community-driven greenscape projects. The fund was opened in 2018 to mark the 150th anniversary of The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company and to further support the development of thriving gardens and greenspaces in their corporate backyard. 

Union County non-profit organizations are welcome to apply. The 2019 application is available online now HERE. The deadline for application submission is October 30, 2019, and winners will be announced later this fall.