Hard work + flowers = learning opportunities

Siblings Nora and Reagan Martin help create a new garden at Barnwell Elementary May 17.

Siblings Nora and Reagan Martin help create a new garden at Barnwell Elementary May 17.

First Byline: 
Jonathan Vickery - Managing Editor

Going to school isn't the ideal way many students - or teachers - want to spend a Saturday morning.
That wasn't the case this past Saturday, May 17, for a small group of Barnwell Elementary School students, employees and parents who volunteered their day off to beautify their school. They dug holes, planted flowers and spread straw to create flower beds for a new Carolina Fence Garden, which will be registered with the South Carolina Wildlife Federation.
"I think it's a nice addition," said teacher Jennie Lemon.
Principal Sherry McIver said the garden, which is funded with a grant and donations, will be a place for students and staff to eat lunch while serving as an outdoor classroom. She said they hope to also use it as a mini theatre where children and the community can come together.
It incorporates natural and cultural elements symbolic of South Carolina, including split rail fence, Yellow Jessamine (state flower), blue granite (state stone), Carolina Wren house, Indian Grass (state grass), and Goldenrod (state wildflower) to attract butterflies like the Easter Tiger Swallowtail (state butterfly), according to scwf.org.
Reagan Martin, a fifth grader at BES, made the event a family affair with his mother Joanie and sister Nora, who attends Barnwell Primary. Reagan said this was the perfect project because he loves the outdoors and enjoyed working in the dirt.
Teacher Lisa Ferguson said the garden will be a great resource for the school, especially students. "It's a treat for them," she said of eating outside. It will also provide more opportunities for hands-on learning, such as learning about butterflies.