MARYSVILLE – It’s not that uncommon to hear a pastor say, “In the beginning …”
But it is uncommon when the pastor is referring to a community garden at Marysville Getchell High School.
Allen Creek Community Church partnered with the school, local businesses and volunteers on the garden. They gathered June 3 at the school to celebrate the project.
Pastor Dan Hazen said people are too rushed in life and that his hope for the future begins in the garden. He hopes that this community effort is just the start of more community gardens in the area.
“People need to slow down and reconnect with the land that sustains us,” Hazen said. “We need to pass on this knowledge from generation to generation. We need to serve one another rather than just ourselves.”
Another speaker, Donetta Spath, said she can’t believe how much work the high school students did.
“They had to get in and get messy,” Spath said.
She also gave credit to the teacher who guided the project, Kimberly Griggs, whom Spath said was a “rock star and role model.”
Gregg taught them “don’t stop dreaming of what you can accomplish,” Spath said.
Students who were part of the project said it was a lot of hard work.
Senior Jessica Sonner, who won a $2,500 ongoing Cedar Grove scholarship for her role in the project, said students called them “Garden Parties” but they weren’t really a party at all.
“We were out here working and sweating,” said Sonner, who wrote the grant that ended up receiving $5,000 from Lowe’s for the community garden, along with doing hard labor with the other students.
Another student, senior David Shayen, said they turned a field of weeds into a garden to produce food for the local food bank. They started in January and worked a lot of weekends.
“Oh, yeah,” it was a lot of hard work, he said, adding there are rows and rows of fruits and vegetables such as onions, kale, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, strawberries, beans, peas, etc. Volunteers will be harvesting fresh food from the garden from 2-4 p.m. throughout the summer on Wednesdays. A self-sustaining irrigation system is a highlight of the project.
Marysville School District Superintendent Becky Berg said along with the basics schools need to teach problem-based learning to solve real-world problems.
“This is what education is all about,” she said.