"Every single plant in there is a native plant," said Anne Symmes. "The garden shows the range of beauty that native plants can bring. It's really inspiring for the community." Review Symmes' list of the native plants that comprise the garden here.
Symmes and Ganswindt submitted a proposal to the school's administrators, which was approved. "We got a grant from the Easter Foundation, the Osborn family foundation," Symmes said. "They wanted to support our Eco-Kids group. We bought some supplies and all the plants with the funds." Eco-Kids was an after-school environmental group for students. "It started when our kids were in Kindergarten," Symmes said.
Symmes, Gainswindt and the Eco-Moms involved the students in planning the garden. "We let the kids come up with design ideas for the garden," Symmes said. View a collection of those designs below.
The garden supports and encourages insects. "Native caterpillars and moths need native plants supportive of Lepidoptera to lay eggs on and reproduce," Symmes said. "There are tons of bees in that garden. They're there -- pollinating like mad."
Symmes noted the commitment of Kevin Keegan, the Middle School science teacher, to the Native Garden. "He organizes a maintenance day in the garden with the seventh and eighth graders," Symmes said.
Garden creation photos by Anne Cleves Symmes.