Mary Michaud, VHE Parent Volunteer has been named one of three winners of the Metcalfe’s School Garden Leader Awards for her commitment and leadership in bringing garden-based learning to the Madison area! Thanks to Mary’s hard work our school will get $1,000 for our Outdoor Garden Classroom!
Just three years ago Mary shared her vision to create a sensorial space for our children at VHE and today, thanks to many volunteers encouraged by Mary’s lively spirit and enthusiasm, we have five raised beds, twelve loose beds, compost bins, a shed, two hoop houses and a 700 square-foot rain garden with more than 25 species of native plants and wetland plants!
Mary won this award because of the many volunteer hours she has spent collaborating within the community, researching and writing grants, securing funds and donated materials. She has successfully grown our garden into a learning space where our children can use their bodies naturally to climb, pull, jump, reach, leap and crouch down low to see their natural world up close.
At VHE our creative teachers are weaving the Outdoor Classroom into their curriculum, taking their students outside for sensorial breaks. Kids are learning problem-solving skills and studying math, science, literacy, art and music throughout the school day. The garden has become a place to meet friends after school; to play a game of football or to run in between the beds and hide among the willow.
We are growing! This year every teacher at VHE has planted in the garden with his/her class!
Our Outdoor Classroom is a very special place and thanks to Mary’s dedication, our kids know that the garden belongs to them and that they belong to the garden.