NEWPORT — The Lincoln County School District has been awarded a School Garden Education Grant from the Oregon Department of Education. The $128,000 award will support garden and nutrition education at Newport Middle School and Yaquina View Elementary School. Oregon State University (OSU) Extension applied for the grant on the district’s behalf.
Renée Johnson, OSU Extension program assistant, said, “In my opinion, everyone should know how to grow food without using toxins, and our kids should have inquiry-based, hands-on learning opportunities.”
Johnson added, “At Yaquina View, the focus will probably be cool weather crops that flourish here — lettuce, kale, spinach, carrots, beets, radishes and peas. What gets planted will be determined by the coordinator and parent volunteers. Students at Newport Middle School will do research to determine what grows best here and plant accordingly.”
Johnson explained the vision for the program. “In the first season, the goal is develop the gardens as well as interest in maintaining them through family and community involvement. We hope to track program success with a few metrics and grow enthusiasm about gardening throughout the schools.”
The school district is in the process of hiring a garden coordinator. Information about that position can be found online at bit.ly/38EmtdM.