The Harper Garden is an integral part of our children’s experience at Harper, and it depends on parent volunteers to keep it open! This year, we’re rolling out a new format to make volunteering even easier. Every Tuesday in the fall/summer, we’ll lead the kids in educational activities/projects. Every Thursday, we’ll do hands-on learning with guided garden maintenance tasks. Parents will receive specific instructions prior to their volunteer slot, and will almost always have a garden coordinator on hand to help. Best yet? Little sibs are encouraged to attend and participate! We’ll also have special events throughout the growing season that will allow students to bring their parents or caretakers into the garden with them for interactive learning and fun! Sign up now!
The Harper Garden Committee is responsible for the care and maintenance of Harper’s beautiful gardens…and we need you! SIGN UP HERE TO HELP!
The garden was created in 2003 when Kathy Hofschield, then a first grade teacher, received grants from both the Chicago Botanic Garden and the District 39 Educational Foundation. Harper students, parents, and teachers worked side by side with the horticulturists of the Chicago Botanic Garden to conceptualize and build the new space. Currently, the garden features six raised beds for planting fruits and vegetables, a cozy tree stump reading nook, a relaxing bridge over a Mexican Pebble “river,” and a beautiful hand-painted rock path through a wild prairie garden. The space has stayed true to Ms. Hofschield’s original goal to provide a sanctuary that encourages children to rest, reflect, and care for the environment.
Parent volunteers are absolutely vital to the success of the garden and the quality of each child’s experience while in it! Parents supervise and lead students in garden-related activities during lunch recess each Tuesday and Thursday during the Fall and Spring. Tuesdays are garden activity days, where students create garden-themed crafts and learn about the science of nature. Thursdays are for hands-on gardening. Students work in the garden planting, weeding, harvesting, and watering. Be prepared to get a little dirty!
In order to maintain the beautiful space and maximize learning time with students, the garden committee needs at least two parent volunteers each week from 11:35am – 12:25pm. No gardening experience is necessary, and younger siblings are welcome!
If you would like to volunteer in the garden, please follow this link to the SIGN UP GENIUS. If you have any questions, email the garden committee at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to seeing you!
Unfortunately, due to staffing issues, we are unable to offer after-school garden club this Fall.