Four garden beds built with support from Dave’s Market and Captain Planet Foundation

Over the past two weeks, students and staff at Warwick Neck Elementary have been exercising their green thumbs, thanks to a set of small gardens that have been donated, built and planted at the school.

The set of four gardens, donated to the school thanks to the support of local retailer Dave’s Marketplace and the Captain Planet Foundation, were installed on May 19 and a variety of plants were planted Tuesday. Warwick Neck principal Patricia Cousineau said the gardens, which will grow toward maturity over the summer, will be used to teach much more than the odd botany lesson.

“We’re going to have a cooking cart,” she said. “We’ll be teaching the kids about health and nutrition. But there are so many things ‐ science, math and even history – that can come out of a garden.”

Dave’s Marketplace gives out one garden grant a year and while the agreement was signed in the fall of 2016, the details of the project were kept under wraps.
“The kids knew there were some boxes in the hallway,” Ms. Cousineau said. “And they knew it was something fun for the school, but that was it.”

The gardens, Ms. Cousineau said, will be much more than merely a teaching tool. A local neighborhood garden association has agreed to participate in caring for the gardens and she believes they will become a focal point for the school. “It’s really about more than building a garden,” she said. “It’s about building a community.”