The driest summer since the Great Depression killed three pear trees in the newly expanded learning garden despite volunteers’ efforts to keep them watered.
From March to July, there were only 33 recorded rainy days in the area. Fewer rainy days during that period haven’t occurred since 1923.
Last year when Green Club and Garden Club proposed the idea to expand the courtyard learning garden, more than $14,600 from the district and other contributors was used to expand the learning garden by adding paths, seating and landscaping. The installation was complete by the end of school.
However, by the beginning of summer, the battle was on. “Watering was the biggest challenge,” said school nurse Paula Damm, one of the volunteers who tended the garden over the summer. “It was hard to tell when the ground was dry because the sun had bleached the mulch.” The garden does not have an automatic sprinkler system, and Damm said that without it, watering was difficult.
Although this summer was not the best summer for the new garden, in years to come, Damm said, it will improve. She said, “It’s learning for us, too.”