Why Should Schools Have a Garden?

A few weeks ago Classroom teacher Ms. Mayes and I gave her 3rd grade class an option to either write a piece for publication in our e-news or do some garden chores. The students who chose to write a piece were given a specific subject – Why Should Schools Have Gardens?

It was rewarding for us to see how these students have been processing some complex ideas and reasons for having a school garden e.g. global warming, ecosystem, food web, nutrition, health and importance of nature connections, school and garden economy. It was good to see these complex issues on paper as seen through the lens of our next generation.

Take a look below to get a glimpse into the heads of a few 9 year olds exposed to gardening at school.

-Punita Patel, Youth Educator




There are many reason [sic] why schools should have a garden. One is to edgacate [sic] people in wildlife and nature. I think schools also should have a garden to make compost, and help people learn that monarch are endangered. I like plants and I think kids my age would like them to [sic]. That is why I think schools should have a garden.



Schools should have gardens because it will help save all the animals. Also it is good for the environment, so when we grow up we don’t have too much heat. That is why school’s should have garden. 



Schools should have a garden because it helps with making oxegen [sic]. Monarks [sic] can have a snack in the gardens. bees, humming birds and other animals can pollenate [sic]. You can get food. And you see tons of animals in a garden.



These are a few reasons schools should hae a garden. Garden helps Monarch Butterflies survive. Gardens provide food for the schools cafateria [sic]. Nothing like fresh picked fruits and veggies. The plant provide [sic]the air we breath. Garden teach us a lot of things about nature. We need to protect our Earth. Earth is our only home. Those are my few reasons schools should have a garden.



Schools should have a garden because, we can learn about nature. Also the enviorment [sic] because that’s where we live and get oxgyne [sic]. We can also learn to plant, and take care of where we live. We can learn how to do many different things, and we can learn about animals up close. This is why schools should have gardens.



Kids should garden at school. So they can work with plants. You can also see insects. Kids can build teamwork together while having fun. That’s why kids should have a school garden.



Schools should have gardens because their food could be their lunch. If they ate their food they would be healthy. They would not be sick. That is why schools should have gardens.

Garden1By Mina:

There are many reasons why schools should have gardens. One reason is to help the environment. We save many animals by planting plants that they eat. One example is monarch butterflies. We can save them by planting milkweed plants. We also have farmers markets to earn money for our school. It also inspires us to love nature and to take care of it. Those were a few reasons why schools should have garden.











Support the SHOWME Your Fitness: Fitness for a Cause CALENDAR! Proceeds benefit Gateway Greening!

Gateway Greening would like to introduce you to our friend Brian Byrd. Brian is the owner of St. Louis Fitness and Wellness Group and a great supporter of Gateway Greening. He and other fitness professionals in the area have created a fitness calendar for the 2016 year that showcases St. Louis trainers, their personal mission, and their favorite workouts, so that you can have a healthier lifestyle too! But the best part? This group is donating the calendar proceeds directly to Gateway Greening and Big Brothers and Big Sisters of St. Louis! You can read more about the calendar below and how to get your copy!

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St. Louis Fitness and Wellness Group presents: SHOWME Your Fitness: Fitness for a Cause, a promotional holiday calendar showcasing St. Louis’s elite personal fitness professionals.

The mission of St. Louis Fitness and Wellness Group is to establish a community environment that promotes fitness, healthy lifestyles, decreases the risk of disease, enhances the quality of life, and increases productivity through healthy lifestyle choices. We encourage families to strengthen their health and well being through educational opportunities, wellness activities and self-improvement. Our goal is to leave a legacy of a happier and healthier community.

In an effort to continue our mission of supporting health and wellness in our community, we present to you SHOWME Your Fitness: Fitness for a Cause. This classy self-promotional calendar series will feature some of St. Louis’s top fitness professionals. The first edition will be a 12-month wall calendar covering 2016 and will feature seven of St. Louis’s elite male personal trainers professionally photographed by St. Louis photographer, Ms. Kat Simone.   Each trainer will be given two months of the calendar and will present a brief bio including what inspires them, what makes them elite, a special quote and all of their contact information. Each month will have by-lines that will describe the location as well as a tagline for the photographer. The trainers will highlight their favorite workouts throughout their months as inspiration to get moving, so there is great practical use for these pieces. A portion of the proceeds will be directly donated to Big Brothers and Big Sisters of St. Louis and Gateway Greening.

The purpose of this piece is to attempt to cross barriers with supporters of community sustainability and the fitness industry. Our industry is all about people and long term change in the way fitness is thought of and how it can impact community. We want to get our excellent professionals in front of an audience that may otherwise be intimidated by or just have no resources for information on what we do. We hope to promote and educate about fitness and to also donate and give back to our community in as many ways as we can.

To purchase your calendar, click here.

“Brian Byrd, founder and owner of St. Louis Fitness and Wellness Group, is a proven fitness and wellness professional of nine years.  Byrd is an expert in personal communication and motivation which results in excellent client retention and overall satisfaction; he stands strong behind the concept of a 360 degree approach to fitness and overall wellness. Along with knowledge and expertise in the fitness and wellness world, Byrd is also a motivational speaker, fitness writer, personal trainer and group fitness instructor.

As new owner of St. Louis Fitness and Wellness Group, Byrd’s dream is to create viable fitness and wellness opportunities for the masses and leave a legacy of health and wellness in his community. He hopes that his community will jump on board with this movement and help him make the community a happier and healthier place.”


One Beautiful Fall Afternoon in the Garden

Screen Shot 2015-10-09 at 8.36.43 AMOne beautiful fall afternoon last week at Gateway Greening we had our day packed with indoor meetings. It was so refreshing when I started getting these exciting pictures and texts from one of the teachers from Mallinckrodt. Ms. Mayes was sending in the work of her 3rd grade students in the garden. It was great to see how much students were enjoying their outdoor classroom.

I remember vividly how reluctant Mrs. Mayes had been when we first started out gardening last fall. In just a year, she has become a strong supporter and a frequent flyer in the garden. Her students are often spotted outdoors with their journals and notebooks. It brings a smile to my face to see her so comfortable using the garden not only as an extension of her classroom but also as a tool for educating her students.

Picture below of Mrs. Mayes and Mrs. Yaksic as they pair up their classrooms and bring the students in the garden to ‘buddy up’.

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In the garden last week, Mrs. Mayes class was learning about garden haiku- a lesson in language arts. I wonder if students would have showed the same zeal for learning this Japanese poetic art form, as they seem to show out here in the garden.

-Punita Patel, Gateway Greening Youth Educator
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Garden Haiku

The essence of haiku is “cutting”. This is often represented by the juxtaposition of two images or ideas cutting word between them. Here are a few garden haikus students produced out in the garden during their lesson as shared by Mrs. Mayes.

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The leaves are changing

They fall every day and night

The plants are dying.

by Olivia Finley 3rd grade, Mallinckrodt Academy

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Pricaly bushes,

With red and green berries please,

On the greenish trees

By Amelia Marquart 3rd grade, Mallinckrodt Academy

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Autumn time is here.

Leaves are starting to appear.

The days will get short.

By Lillian Jena Baptiste 3rd grade Mallinckrodt Academy