The Blue Springs School District (BSSD) is partnering with Colonial Gardens to expand district agriculture and horticulture programming for students of all ages. The ongoing relationship impacts students from grades 4 through 11 (high school juniors) and includes the creation of two internship opportunities at Colonial Gardens beginning Summer 2019.
“Most kids aren’t going to consider a career in horticulture if they don’t understand the impact of plants and healthy soil in our world. Our goal is to help connect youth with the natural world to foster an appreciation for horticulture and agriculture,” says Kelly Chamberlain, Colonial Gardens General Manager. “The new generation is very concerned about our planet, and the best way to save the world is through horticulture. It is our hope, through partnerships like this, that we are able to attract young people to our industry and narrow the present-day age gap.”
Dr. Annette Seago, BSSD Deputy Superintendent, agrees: “Hands-on experiential learning is the best way to instruct students of all ages. The Blue Springs School District’s partnership with Colonial Gardens will provide invaluable opportunities for our students to gain exposure to a variety of horticultural experiences. We are thrilled to join forces with Colonial Gardens to benefit our students now and into their future.”
In addition to the expanded agriculture and horticulture programming efforts, Colonial Gardens is also offering BSSD the opportunity to pick corn, watermelon and pumpkins in the fall to sell as fundraisers for various district groups.
The following programs are currently scheduled or in development:
- 4th graders receive 10 weeks of Ag on the Move from the district
- 5th graders at Cordill-Mason Elementary will host an Arbor Day tree planting at 2:00 pm, Friday, April 26th, provided by Colonial Gardens
- 6th- 8th graders in the district’s garden club (hosted at Delta Woods Middle School) will participate in a multi-week program focused on proper weeding/watering techniques, harvest and post-harvest techniques and food safety
- 2nd semester sophomores will spend a day at Colonial Gardens and Schwope Brothers Tree Farm learning about a variety of agriculture and horticulture related careers, projects and roles. Those students will have the opportunity to apply for two internships at Colonial Gardens the summer before their junior year
The Blue Springs School District is dedicated to providing our students the greatest educational opportunities. We strive to assure all our students are prepared to take their place as productive, informed, and caring members of society. Our district is located on the eastern edge of Jackson County and covers a total of 58 square miles.
Colonial Gardens is helping people re-discover what’s unique, transformative and experiential about horticulture and agriculture. Currently celebrating 50 years of enriching the lives of Blue Springs residents, as well as residents of the surrounding communities, they’re committed to continuing the legacy through our youth.