AMESBURY — Special needs students at Amesbury High School have spent the summer showing off their green thumbs by planting raised garden beds thanks to a grant from Amesbury Educational Foundation Inc.
Raised garden beds feature soil that is above ground level and they are usually enclosed.
The Raised Beds: Outdoor Learning Space grant for $3,000 was awarded during the 2022 Amesbury Education Foundation Inc. Hall of Honor ceremony.
The money was given to purchase tools and soil for raised garden beds. Now, the plan is for the grant to be used as part of the summer school program.
The garden program is run by autism spectrum disorder teacher Christina Lynch and life skills coach Kelsey Fedechko.
Lynch said the grant was awarded to a teacher prior to her and Fedechko’s arrival at the school.
“This was mine and the life skills teacher’s first year here,” she said. “The previous teacher had received an AEFI grant for a raised garden bed. When we came on board, they had the grant money for this, so we kind of looked at it and decided what we wanted to do.”
Lynch said they used the money to create two raised beds and grow a variety of vegetables. She thanked Tom’s Discount and Coast of Maine for donating soil for the gardens.
“They gave us a great deal on some of the gardening supplies as well,” Lynch said.
She said they began planting in late June and that students have been “very engaged” in the program.
“They love it. They love anything hands on, anything that’s tactile that they can see,” Lynch said. “And again, they love that ability of watching things grow and seeing their hard work pay off. So they really enjoy coming out watering, and seeing if anything’s grown.”