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  • Frank DiGiovanni

Calling all child gardeners!

There is something about getting my hands dirty in the garden that I enjoy. Maybe it's the smell of the dirt, maybe it's watching the plants grow or harvesting the fruits (or vegetables) of my labors or maybe it's just being outside. Whatever it is, there's something I find highly enjoyable and relaxing about it.

It is with all that in mind that I am elated to announce that the Science Museum of Long Island will be offering a Children's Garden Workshop! This workshop will be open to children 7-12 years of age and run on Tuesdays from 4:00- 5:30 pm starting on March 23.


Throughout the 10 week class, students will learn about botany, get their hands dirty in the garden planting and tending to the plants, dissect a flower and learn about it's biology, they'll be introduced to the humble seed and spore, learn about the botanical difference between fruits and vegetables, be introduced to organisms such as fungi, algae, moss and lichen before finally harvesting what they've grown and helping to package the extra food to be donate to the Port Washington-based food-distribution organization Plant-A-Row For The Hungry. There will even be an opportunity for the class to vote on a topic about plants that they want to learn about!


Our resident garden enthusiast and teacher, Frank (me) will be leading the class which will not only include the aforementioned topics but will also include the students using field microscopes while on the preserve as well as using lab-based microscopes all while having fun and safely educating these future farmers.


Further information, dates and sign links up can be found at www.smli.org/garden-workshop (or by clicking the image above) but please know that space is limited to 15 students and due to COVID-19 safety protocols, masks will be mandatory while in and outside unless we can maintain safe, social distance.


Before I go any further, and very importantly, I would like to extend my utmost and sincere "thank you" to The Community Chest of Port Washington (CCPW) and the Mertz Community Resource Fund (MCRF) for their support of this program. Their funding enabled equipment purchases, irrigation installation, and scholarship support. It is through the generosity of the Community Chest of Port Washington that we have this exciting information. The folks at CCPW had an near-impossible task for 2020 (and into 2021) when faced with COVID-19 and the decision as to where to give their money for the financial year(s). Thankfully they gave to organizations that directly helped with facing and dealing with the virus, but also found money to give to SMLI to help create and run a program that will benefit children in other ways. I would also like to thank Ms. Nancy Cowles at the MCRF, a branch of the CCPW, who has also given money to ensure the program runs smoothly.


I could not write about this program without their generosity. Thank you!


I would also like to extend a huge shoutout and "thank you" to the folks at Gardeners.com, specifically Holly-Ruth, Stephanie Gueldner and all the other folks in the Commercial Accounts department, along with the entire donations department. Not only did Holly-Ruth help (me) find all the items required to ensure this program goes smoothly but the donations department gave SMLI a $100 donation so we can have even greater tools to help our garden succeed! I cannot recommend them highly enough for your gardening adventures; they're really helpful and super knowledgeable as well as having ALL SORTS of handy gardening supplies, you name it, they probably have it... Plus, everyone else I have spoken to is wonderfully friendly. And that's not me giving them a plug, that is from my experience working with the good folks there up in (Burlington) Vermont.


I can't wait to meet your child and introduce them to the wonders of plants and encourage them to not only help others by growing these plants but take this knowledge (and some seeds) home to start a garden of their own!


-Frank

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