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After four long years of planning by teachers, students and parents, a school garden has finally become a reality at Roy Herburger Elementary School.

On September 15, 2012, Herburger students and staff, as well as community members and members of the Elk Grove and Rancho Murieta Rotary clubs spent the day building the garden. Thanks to the fundraising efforts of the Herburger Parent Faculty Organization (PFO) and Herburger Garden Committee, as well as donations from the Rotary clubs and a Rotary grant, nearly $6,000 was raised to create the garden. The Garden Committee also worked with Lowe's to purchase garden materials and brick pavers

"The goal of the project is to establish a garden and incorporate an ongoing outdoor sustainable learning environment for the entire student body of both regular and special education students," said Lynne Mayer, principal at Herburger. "The garden will support the curricular needs of environmental education, reading/language arts, ecology, biology, horticulture and natural/earth science as stated in state academic standards and benchmarks for each subject."

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In addition, garden literature and periodicals will be incorporated into the curriculum along with understanding the hands-on skills of the garden.

To prepare for the garden, students worked during recess and after school to level the ground and staff members added water lines after EGUSD maintenance workers added a dedicated water spigot. In the future, students will continually clear the grounds, shovel dirt and cut weeds for composting.
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"The entire school and community are committed to helping with the garden to sustain the growth and appearance," said Rebecca Davis, former principal at Herburger and active community member in the garden. "Along with studying about plants, the curriculum will help to develop a deeper understanding of the current program of Network for a Healthy California with Harvest of the Month foods and events - a program provided through EGUSD's Food and Nutrition Services department."

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Community members and Herburger parents plan to provide seedlings for each growing season. The teaching staff at Herburger is also working with a master gardener and the Sacramento Tree Society to assure the best growth and understanding of plants. Herburger students will also not only grow and eat the fruits and vegetables from their garden, but they will also share excess food produce with the Food Bank or Senior Living Center. 

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