Cartoon Network Studios (CNS) has developed a Garden Club at Stevenson Elementary school, utilizing the talents of a host of volunteers to maintain the organic garden and create activities for the students. Most recently, Lowe’s Home Improvement store and CNS joined forced to provide a moveable garden planter for disabled children to enjoy gardening experiences.
“I noticed that the disabled students couldn’t maneuver in the garden last year,” commented Zita Lefebvre, Director of Operations and Community Relations at Cartoon Network. “The pathways in the garden are narrow and filled with gravel and the garden is clear across the play yard. I appealed to many volunteers to build a raised planter. I researched and found one on line. My volunteers just never got time to build it.”
“One day, I decided to call Lowe’s and ask the manager if they would partner with CNS. Sure enough, they were enthusiastic to help. CNS purchased the supplies and Robbie Beabout at Lowe’s assembled it.”
Lowe’s delivered the planter to Stevenson in mid-December and placed it outside the classrooms on the playground. It can be rolled to the grass for watering and moved into the shade as necessary.
“I am hoping it will give the disabled students the same experience that the other gardeners have had,” added Lefebvre. “I want them to grow herbs and taste them, pick vegetables and try them. Maybe plant some sunflowers and plants that grow quickly. Learn about using ladybugs and not chemicals in the garden. It will be fun!”
“We had a great time at the school when we presented them with the new planter,” Lefebvre also said. “The kids were excited about planting in January. I am working with Claire Torrey to plan a schedule to give the kids all the benefits of the garden.”
Cartoon Network has partnered with Stevenson Elementary in a variety of ways over the past decade, teaching art classes, painting a mural in and donating books for the library, supporting Wellness Week and Walk to School Day and organizing the Garden Club. Stevenson parent and volunteer Torrey acts as master gardener and plans the projects with Lefebvre. CNS provides the supplies and the students enjoy a variety of activities in the garden. In December, students made bird feeders from pine cones, peanut butter and birdseed with the help of volunteers.