University of Florida

2009 Florida School Garden Competition Winners

The School Garden Competition invites Florida elementary schools to highlight their school garden programs. A cash prize is given to the first-place winning school in each category.

Entire School Garden Category

Bunnell Elementary studentFirst Place: Bunnell Elementary School, Bunnell

Part of the garden's mission is to encourage an understanding of sound ecological principles and an appreciation for wholesome foods. The garden had unique sections, such as the "Nutrition Garden" and the heirloom vegetable bed.

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Camelot ElementarySecond Place: Camelot Elementary School, Orlando

Active year round, the Camelot Elementary garden is fully organic and includes a wide variety of plants and sensory elements. It also provides food and habitat for other living things, such nectar for butterflies and pollen for bees.

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Sand Lake GardenThird Place: Sand Lake Elementary School, Orlando

The "Stingray Sanctuary" includes a butterfly garden, weather station and maze, as well as a solar-powered pond and solar-powered gazebo fan. Each grade is responsible for a section, and a student-formed garden club maintains the garden.

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Multiple Class Garden Category

Endeavour student mentoring kindergartenerFirst Place: Endeavour Elementary, Cocoa

The Endeavour Gardening project is a butterfly habitat, complete with a screened tent for raising catepillars. The older students mentor the younger students, including a "welcoming" event for pre-K children by the kindergarten students.

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Tavares students digs up tuberSecond Place: Tavares Elementary, Tavares

The sun-shaped garden focuses on a different theme each year. This year's produce was donated to a local food bank, and inspired a lesson plan on poverty awareness.

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Washington County student planting treeThird Place: Washington County School District Gifted Ed. Program, Chipley

The "Project Challenge Learning Garden" was designed with help from the local horticulture Extension agent. The students formed a 4-H club and used a 4-H curriculum as a guide.

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Single Class Garden Category

Wekiva students in their corn fieldFirst Place: Wekiva Elementary School, Longwood

Mrs. Prose's kindergarten class, as members of the Jellybean Landscape Club, grow vegetables in their garden. The produce is then used for soup that is shared with local food kitchens and others in the community.

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Altoona students with seedlingsSecond Place: Altoona School, Altoona

Mrs. Gustafson's second-grade class grows vegetables and flowers with assistance from Master Gardeners, 4-H members, parents, and the local garden club. When it came time to harvest, the students made a salad with their vegetables.

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Gene Witt Salsa Garden signThird Place: Gene Witt Elementary School, Bradenton

The "Varying Exceptionalities" class grew vegetables and herbs in their container garden, named "The Salsa Garden." They used the produce to make salsa for their celebration of Cinco de Mayo.

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