E.A.T.S. (Evergreen Agricultural Testing Site) was established in 1998 by volunteer teachers. Six raised garden beds were built by sponsorship of local organizations and businesses. The Wrangell School District provided the space for the E.A.T.S. Garden Committee, and moved a greenhouse from the Middle School to the Elementary site. A grant was written by the volunteer teachers and awarded by NGA (National Gardening Association). This Youth Garden Grant provided supplies, equipment, and teaching resources for classrooms. Each year, the garden has been planted in the Spring and harvested in the Fall on a very low level, producing enough to make dishes in the classroom and for Open House/Other Events like Potato Soup, Cole Slaw, Potato Bread, and Pumpkin Cookies.
In 2014-15, the garden started taking on a whole new look and purpose. With a newly formed volunteer E.A.T.S. Garden Committee working with representatives from each school building, Food Service, Kids' Summer Gardening, and the community, needed steps were taken to revive the area. The Evergreen Elementary School Student Council was instrumental in allocating a shift of BoxTops funds to help the school garden, with hopes of funding a new greenhouse in the future*. In the meantime, students will continue to start plants in their classrooms in the Spring, plant before school is out for Summer, and harvest in the Fall, Kids' Gardening will be in charge of taking care of the school garden during the Summer months. Good things continue to happen!
An exciting opportunity arose during the 2017-2018 School Year. Americorps sent a 10 person team to Wrangell and the E.A.T.S. School Garden was invited to their project list. Thanks to the donations of Terri and Jack Pino, F/V Pacific Sea/Frank Warfel, Jr., Wrangell Teachers' Association, Dan Rohr, Breakaway Adventures, and Frank and Pat Warfel, new wood was purchased to build new beds to replace the beds sponsored in 1998. Americorps, Dan Rohr, and the E.A.T.S. Garden Committee have been instrumental in assisting with the bed renovation, as well as cleaning up and organizing the garden area.
Let's Get Growing!
If you have any questions or would like to get involved with the E.A.T.S. Garden Committee, please contact Jenn Miller at 874-2321, ext. 232.
*As of Fall 2015, the new greenhouse is happening, thanks to a partnership with WHS Wrangell Fabrication. In 2016, the structure was erected. In the Spring of 2017, WHS Senior Project Students worked to secure the roofing timbers. The structure in is in the process of being enclosed by Fall of 2018.