Community News

Blue Point Elementary’s Garden Club Is In Full Bloom

Pictured: Blue Point Elementary Garden Club students learned all about the plants that live on their school’s property and helped to plant new vegetation inside their school.

Photos courtesy of Bayport-Blue Point School District

The Blue Point Elementary School Garden Club began as a small project in the overgrown, abandoned garden bed outside of a Blue Point third grade classroom in spring 2021.

Teacher Carrie Desmond, teacher Terry Stevens and assistants Kim Bott and Denise Harenburg shared the joy and the work of gardening with students as they raked, hoed, weeded and planted a garden in a 25 by 4-foot space south of their classroom.

The following year, Ms. Desmond applied for a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation grant and received 30 native shrubs in the spring. This led to tending Silky Dogwood, Virginia Rose and Ninebark seedlings during the summer and into the following school year with a dedicated group of volunteers from the school community.

In fall 2023, the opportunity arose for the side project to become an after-school club. “It has become a way to weave gardening into the Blue Point Elementary community with more consistency and wider exposure for students throughout the building,” said Desmond.

To date, the group has worked inside and outside since they first met in November, starting a few on-going projects. They began by covering the Paige Boucher Garden with thick fabric donated by the PTA to prepare it for weeding and planting in the spring. This garden, on the southeast part of the school’s property, honors a former student, and it will be cleaned up and improved to pay respect to Paige’s memory.

The Garden Club students have also propagated coleus plants, learned the anatomy of a plant and what it needs, discerned the difference between a weed and a plant, made plant-related crafts and had fun building community together.

The group meets across grades, with different mixes of grade levels each time, in an attempt to forge new relationships and allow opportunities for mentoring. Since their humble beginnings, the Garden Club has succeeded in achieving their mission of learning, teaching and growing together.

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