Students in the garden at Dale City Elementary School

Prior to leaving for summer break, students in the science club at Dale City Elementary School had a first-hand glimpse of the many elements involved in the successful creation of a fully operational native plant garden.

The science club, with help from Keaton Beaumont, fifth grade science teacher, received a matching grant from Earth Sangha, a volunteer-based nonprofit program that propagates local native plants, restores native plant communities, and controls invasive plant species. As a result, every plant purchased by the school was matched by Earth Sangha.

The Prince William County sanitation department also delivered compost and mulch, which students moved to the garden location during the after-school club hours.

This opportunity exposed students to finding funding resources for the garden, identifying native plant species, preparing land and soil, and learning about key aspects of farming and environmental stewardship.

"Thanks to the dedication of the science club, Dale City Elementary School now has a beautiful outdoor classroom filled with native species of plants that will offer opportunities for learning and outdoor experiences for future generations of students," stated Beaumont.

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