Gateway School’s Life Lab Garden was selected to be on the 2017 Master Garden Tour on September 9, 2017. Student docents taught visitors about biofiltration ponds, rainwater catchment systems, native plant restoration, along with monarch migratory habits and nectar requirements, while touring them through the quarter acre garden. One of eight gardens on the tour, the Life Lab was the only school garden, and certainly the only one with children demonstrating their knowledge of cultivating sustainable native habitats and the science behind these practices.
Visitors explored the variety of learning spaces including the insectary hedge row, native plant and nectar garden, medicinal herb garden, and the One World fruit and vegetable gardens that trace the evolutionary origins of our food crops from around the world.
A certified Schoolyard Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation, Gateway’s garden is rich with migrating monarchs (the garden lies directly across from one of the largest monarch butterfly overwintering sites), garter snakes, Pacific coast tree frogs and a wide diversity of birds. Gateway’s Life Lab instructor, Caprice Potter, uses children’s innate interest in the natural world to cultivate their passion for protecting the environment through hands-on science. The garden provides a real life setting for children to grow and eat healthy food, while also learning about ecosystems and environmental science. “Giving children the opportunity to be intimately involved with the propagation and care of a small, local ecosystem where food can also be grown, cooked and eaten is the key to cultivating environmental stewards of the future,” says Ms. Potter.
See photos here.