Lincoln Learning Garden
The Brighter Futures Foundation created the Lincoln Learning Garden in June 2018 because what we feed our children, and what we teach them about food in school shapes how they learn, how they grow, and how long they will live. And children today—in schools all across the nation—are in need. It’s no different in Wagoner, as the city has 33% of the population living in poverty, with many children facing food insecurity, and less than 2% of Wagoner’s children eating enough fresh fruits and vegetables. In addition, over 90% of the families that we serve come from households with less than $10,000 in annual income.
School garden programs can help children grow up to be healthier, assist with better nutrition, and encourage healthier eating habits. School garden programs not only promote healthy lifestyles in children, but have also been shown to improve children’s behavior and performance at school and improve their attitudes about and appreciation for the environment. Gardens serve as great outdoor classrooms for any number of subjects, including reading, science and ecology, math, creative writing, and art.
In conjunction with various community partners including the Wagoner Health Department, Cooperative Extension, Southwood Landscape and Garden Center, The Garden Center, The Wagoner Rose Club, Wagoner 4-H, and several private citizens (including Ms. Nancy Russell Waggoner and Mr. Gary Rowe), we began the Lincoln Learning Garden. The Lincoln Learning Garden’s Mission is to improve the health and well-being of students, families, and the larger community. The garden provides opportunities for hands-on learning, inquiry, observation and experimentation across the curriculum; motivates kids to eat and love fruits and vegetables; and promotes physical activity and quality outdoor experiences.
The Lincoln Learning Garden is focusing on education, learning, and demonstrations. Curriculum implemented will assist the students to learn and grow. A group of volunteers, made-up of community residents, provide instruction and help the students maintain the garden. The Lincoln Learning Garden is open to the community when the center is open.
The Summer 2019 Garden produced 12 edibles that the students got to sample, take home, and that we shared with other community members. Older students helped with the plantings, maintenance of the garden, harvesting of the vegetables, and distribution of the vegetables. In Spring 2020, we anticipate adding an additional four beds to the garden.