BOX ELDER, S.D. (KELO) — The garden club at Douglas Middle School is getting its very own teaching garden.

These students not only get their very own garden today, but they are helping to build it as well.
With help from Ground Works, the garden club here at Douglas Middle School is getting 5 garden beds.

“They are four foot long by ten foot long by two feet tall and they are putting them out in our field here. They are getting their hands dirty and they are going to build the beds and then fill them with soil later,” Kevin Militello, Life-Science Teacher, said.

“I get to see my own plants that I planted grow,” Ryan Dreier, 8th Grader, said.

Ground Works-Midwest is a non-profit group that specializes in school teaching gardens. This is the organization’s first garden in western South Dakota.

“It’s kind of an appreciation for science, first of all. It’s an appreciation for things that grow, for creation, appreciation of the environment. All of those become part of the package and maybe some child here might want to work with plants. But basically, to know where their food comes from, what it means to eat healthy, what it means to grow something and see the fruit of your labor,” Tim Olsen, Exec. Dir. of Ground Works, said.

And as you can see, these middle-schoolers are excited start harvesting their own plants and vegetables.

“I mean listen to the chatter behind me. They’re excited. When they go out next spring and plant those first seeds, they are going to be excited. There’s the whole idea of watching something grow but also to understand how does it grow,” Olsen said.

Ground Works-Midwest will be sending seeds to the Douglas students in the spring. The organization hopes to build and place more teaching gardens West River in the future.