CCS Plots to plates gardens tour 2016
Carmel Boy Scout Troop 576
Scouts in Boy Scout troop 576 created a self-guided tour of the CCS Plates to Plots Organic Community Gardens. The tour consists of seven educational stations describing the areas of the gardens that benefit the environment. The Scouts worked with representatives from the school and gardens to design and install educational signs at each station and to create hand-held maps leading a visitor from one station to the next. The educational tour will also benefit hundreds of field trip students visiting the gardens each year.
Boy Scouts and volunteers led by Lant J. working on his Eagle project worked to make our local community gardens more educational by creating a self-guided tour. The tour highlights and describes seven common areas of the gardens with added environmental value.
On the message board at the north entrance to the gardens, Lant installed a sign encouraging visitors to take the tour. Below the sign he placed a weather resistant box to distribute the reusable maps. Lant promoted the tour via the CCS Plots to Plates Newsletter and a press release.
Over twenty volunteers assisted Lant with his Eagle Scout project. The Carmel Green Teen Micro-Grant Program is proud to fund Boy Scout, Girl Scout, and all youth-led service projects that benefit our local environment, help build community, promote social responsibility, and empower a new generation of leaders.
Each year, hundreds of students enjoy field trips to the gardens. They learn about soil and compost, wise watering techniques, and more through hands-on activities. Students even pull weeds and plant seeds. This portion of the gardens is also used to grow food to donate to local food pantries. Usually, students from Carmel Clay Schools plant the seeds or seedlings in these plots. Volunteers care for the plots and deliver the harvest.
Above is the map of the CCS Plots to Plates Organic Community Gardens created for this project. The tour consists of seven educational stations describing the environmentally beneficial areas of the gardens: the pollinator garden, stage and teaching area, compost bins, rain garden, healthy eating mural, rain barrels, and the field trip and food pantry plots. Click on the highlighted text above to learn about the areas of the gardens that were funded by the Carmel Green Teen Micro-Grant Program.
To make the project even greener, the Scouts installed the signs on existing gardens structures whenever possible. While we often think of recycling when we think of going green; reusing is even better. Above, they install a sign on Tattfoo Tan's Nature Matching System mural. This garden mural encourages healthy eating and this exact one is even highlighted by the artist on his website.
One of the most challenging parts of the project was to determine what information to include on the signs and the map. After this was determined, Lant worked with Jerry Williams of Green Jays Communications to learn how to design the garden signs and create unique graphics.
While the Boy Scouts were busy installing the posts and signs for the project, community volunteers weeded the Field Trip and Food Pantry plots which serve as Station 7 of the gardens tour. This station will also include plant identification markers, so that visitors and students on field trips can learn to identify various garden vegetable plants.
CCS Plots to Plates Community Gardens plots are open to all Carmel residents and CCS employees, and are administered by the CCS Green Team and Carmel Clay Schools. The organic gardens are located on the grounds of Carmel Middle School behind the tennis courts. Ninety-eight plots are available for use by households or school and community groups. The common areas are available to everyone. For more details, visit CCSGreenTeam.org.
The back side of the map includes additional information about the tour and acknowledges the various student and community groups which, over the past five years, have labored to improve the Carmel community to create the gardens and all of the various stations highlighted in the tour. Please click on either of the map images above to enlarge and read more, or download the map here. Kudos to Lant J., Boy Scout troop 576, and our community for making Carmel greener, one youth project at a time.