Lincoln Middle School science teacher Marla Haugen recently received the good news that the Pullman Education Foundation selected her Spartan Seed to Feed Project for its $10,000 Innovation Grant award. The raised-bed garden project, which gets underway in the fall, will transform a seasonably wet, grassy area with poor drainage into an outdoor science classroom. Twelve raised beds with gravel pathways will be constructed with the help of students, volunteers from the Palouse Conservation District Americorps, the FFA, Boy Scout Troop 460 and other local service groups.
Middle school students who already participate in the lunchtime composting program will have hands-on experiences preparing soil, making cold frames, planting, weeding, and harvesting crops which will be used by the school's kitchen, the LMS Culinary Club and the YMCA. Crops to be grown include raspberries, tomatoes, leafy vegetables, carrots, green beans, beets, potatoes, squash, cucumbers and peppers. Excess produce will be donated to the Community Action Center. During the summer months, it is anticipated that the garden will be maintained by the YMCA.
The garden plan also includes an aesthetically pleasing gathering place with benches and picnic tables. In the future, Marla would like to plant fruit trees on an adjacent slope. It is anticipated that Spartan Seed to Feed will become the prototype for future gardens being planned by Jefferson and Franklin elementary schools.