The start of the school year at Riverbend Elementary School brought with it lots of joys, new teachers, new staff and plants to harvest from the school's community garden.
As para-educator John Smith was gearing up for teaching the kids about harvest and preparing to harvest, they were met with an unexpected change of plans.
On Sunday, Sept. 5, some individuals came into the purposefully unlocked garden, ripped up the sunflowers, tore up the pea stalks and threw the potted plants over the fence, shattering the plastic and killing the plants. The culprits returned on Sept. 12 to do more damage by ripping up the turnips and throwing them over the fence.
The children in Davin Savikko's first grade class, who as kindergarteners had a big hand in helping with the garden, were especially devastated when they found out.
"It is a sad thing," Savikko said. "Our school put a lot of time last spring into this garden, which was absolutely beautiful! We had 5- and 6-year-olds wielding adult-sized shovels and wheelbarrows. It took six or seven kids to push a full sized wheelbarrow, but they got the job done. It was hard work, but no one ever complained. It turned out to be a really fun experience. The whole school took great pride in their efforts."
In light of the destruction of the garden that we students and staff worked so hard on, the children of Mrs. Liza Ross' classroom are kicking off this year's first service project with a Restore the Garden Penny Drive.
If you wish to donate pennies, please send them with your students or drop them by donation cans around the community. If you wish to donate more, feel free. If you wish to donate seeds, please call the school at 463-1819.