Independence Local Schools and community build children's garden shed for after school and summer camp programs
In the spring of 2015, the City of Independence After School staff applied and received a $1,000 grant from the Master Gardeners of Cuyahoga County to build a shed to be used by the children of their after school and summer camp programs.
Every spring, summer and fall, the City of Independence after school and summer camp students work on the children's gardens, an experience not many of these students are able to have. However, they spent a lot of time moving the garden tools needed for their work a very far distance. That was why Rita Glover, Youth Coordinator for the City of Independence, wanted to apply for the Master Gardener's Grant. Glover, Mary Kalish, Youth Assistant Coordinator, and two program counselors, who are currently studying to be future educators, wrote the application for the grant. The Afterschool children also assisted in making this dream a reality by writing notes and illustrating the reasons a shed was needed. These were included with the grant application.
"The process of receiving this grant created a really neat program all around," said Youth Coordinator for the City of Independence, Rita Glover. "It became a learn as you go educational project with everyone pitching in."
Students from Independence High School in Mike Foor's classes designed and built the shed over the last year. The computer aided design (CAD) students created drawings for the shed's design, the mathematics classes helped with the measurements and the home maintenance class of about 50 students built the shed.
"This is something that these students 10 years from now can say 'I helped build that' and can take pride in it," said Independence High School Teacher, Mike Foor. "They were a part of something that will be in their community for a long long time."
The garden shed is located behind the City of Independence Field House and is very visible from I-77.
"While the value of the shed is estimated at $3,500, after all the hard work and dedication put into it, I say it's priceless," said Glover.
A special thanks to the local businesses of Independence, Home Depot of Macedonia, Larson Lumber and Cuyahoga County Water and Soil for their support and donations to make this possible.