Sunday, February 15, 2015

OSU Soil Science Class Reaches out to Corvallis Community Children

Photo by Sonya Templeton

I recently spoke to Sonya Templeton, a Natural Resources major at Oregon State University, about the work her Soil Science class is doing in the community. According to Sonya, her soil Science class focuses on “how soil development and land management affect soil quality and sustainability”. Last week Sonya’s class went to Jefferson Elementary School in Corvallis, Oregon where they helped the school build gardens for the children to plant seeds. These beds can be used as teaching aids for the teachers to build classes around and will also provide an opportunity for parent involvement.

The class used a raised bed method when building the garden because the soil was “poor and compact”. In order to build the beds, they had the City of Corvallis bring in leaves to use as a base compost and then used fertile loam as the main soil topped with a layer of compost. Sonya said that they “used [their] knowledge of what a healthy soil is "loam" which is an even mix of sand, silt and clay and stores nutrients and water that is always readily available to the plants.” After the class was finished building the beds, they laid seed on top which the kindergarten class had previously sorted.

The opportunity for the students at Jefferson Elementary to learn how to plant and take care of a garden will be beneficial to the future of this community. The more time we spend teaching our children how to take care of soil and grow healthy foods, the healthier our land and children can become.  

By: Amber Page

1 comment:

  1. I do not understand the choice of location along the Circle side of the school property close to the street. Three shade trees that we planted by the neighborhood as part of a city street tree program were torn out to make the raised bed garden, whereas there are better spots to put a garden at the school. Circle Boulevard has been a busy street for many years, and the soil close to Circle likely contains lead and other contaminants. Exhaust from vehicles will contaminate the garden plants and produce. There are other spots more appropriate for the garden. The school should plant three trees along Circle to replace the ones that were destroyed.