Credit: Ali Mramor (Cropped from original)

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Riley Creek School Gardens

The Riley Creek School Garden is a beautiful collaboration between Riley Creek School, Curry County Master Gardeners, and Curry Watersheds Partnership, along with extraordinary support from our greater community.

During the school year, students participate in garden activities with lessons tailored to meet Oregon Common Core State standards in the classroom and out in the garden. Students are involved with all aspects of the garden including, preparing soil, seed starting, planting, weeding, harvesting, and composting. Harvest from the garden is served in the school cafeteria during the school year as well as for the Summer Lunch Program, which feeds kids all summer for free. Excess produce is donated to the local food bank and volunteers who help in the garden.

During the summer months, the garden is open to the Gold Beach community and offers weekly activities for children as well as an opportunity for adults to engage in gardening and harvest their own produce for home use.

The garden houses a 20’×40’ greenhouse which allows for year-round growing, seed starting, and an outdoor classroom in inclement weather. All of the vegetable and herb plants grown for the annual Master Gardener Plant Sale are started here. Lettuce is grown hydroponically through the winter in the greenhouse to provide the school cafeteria salad bar with fresh lettuce weekly.

Each year we host two family events in the garden: the Strawberry Festival in Spring and the Fall Fest in Autumn. These events give students an opportunity to show off their hard work in the garden to their families as well as participate in fun garden related activities and fresh healthy snacks are served, often with ingredients harvested from the garden.

Curry County Master Gardeners provide the majority of volunteer support in the garden, and the garden would not be what it is today if it weren’t for them. The Central Curry School District has hired a part-time Garden Coordinator to manage the garden, school lessons, teacher and community coordination, and events, but none of it would be able to come to fruition without our incredible dedicated volunteers.

We are proud of our garden and what it means to Gold Beach. We’ve seen children turned on to eating new, healthy, delicious, fresh produce and this is the beginning of creating healthy lifelong habits in our community.

kids in school garden

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