With the sun shining and temperatures rising, now is the perfect time to start harvesting a garden.
The students and staff at Barlow Mountain Elementary School couldn’t agree more and that’s why they hosted the first annual Bobcat Boogie Fun Run and Wellness Fair on Thursday, April 25 to raise money to support the school’s Blooming Bobcats Garden.
217 people attended the event, including 194 Barlow Mountain students and 23 staff members — 60% of the school’s students and 70% of its teachers.
The Bobcat Boogie helped raise $4,980 through family and friends donations to build shade pergolas for student programs in the garden as well as fund a greenhouse, which will allow students to harvest produce year-round in the cafeteria. Currently, students harvest produce seasonally that is served in the cafeteria free to all students.
The event was a part of Barlow Mountain’s “garden to cafeteria” initiative, where students harvest garden produce that is served free to students throughout the year. In addition, the garden is integrated into the school curriculum at every grade.
“Barlow Mountain believes that student wellness is critical to our students personal development and academic achievement,” said , Rebecca Pembrook, principal of Barlow Mountain. “The Bobcat Boogie has raised both awareness and funding for the Blooming Bobcats garden as a key source in support of our wellness mission.”
As part of the wellness fair, a raffle was held with the grand prize being a trip to school in a fire truck.
The event was organized by the town’s garden committee and parent volunteers.
Ridgefield is the first town in Connecticut to have an organic edible garden at every public school.
The Blooming Bobcats Garden is the largest of the nine school gardens in town.
Scotland Elementary School had the first edible school garden in town.