LCSG and The Xerces Society – collaborating to protect pollinators

lcsg-xerces2One of our AmeriCorps Members, Hillary Jensen, recently had the opportunity to visit the Xerces Society in Portland, OR along with LCSG Board President – Louis LaPierre, and Friend of LCSG, Author and Naturalist – Robert Pyle.

Xerces generously donated Pollinator Habitat signs for installation in each of our School Gardens – which will help us teach about and protect VIPs (very important pollinators) in our own community.

Thank you for the signs and for all the valuable work you do for invertebrates, Xerces Society.
Learn more about the birth and work of Xerces here:


Free volunteer training – Register Now!

IMG_8881“Ultimately, it is volunteers who make it possible for kids to experience the school garden in a meaningful way.”

Whether you are currently volunteering in a school garden or are just starting to think about getting your hands dirty… this free training (pdf) event is for you! Learn simple, effective techniques and strategies for helping kids (and plants!) thrive.

We hope you can attend one of these two (identical) 3-hour sessions:

  • ​​Friday, ​February ​20: ​9:00-noon​
  • ​Saturday February 21: ​9:00-noon​


Northlake Elementary
“Garden Lab” Room 26 (​2nd​ portable)
2210 Olympia Way
Longview, WA 98632

We will work in the classroom as well as out in the garden – there will be plenty of hands-on learning! Topics include:

  • Why school gardens?
  • Garden activities and lessons (we have newly developed resources to share!)
  • Starting seeds indoors and outside
  • Composting with kids
  • Cooking with kids
  • Garden safety
  • Group management strategies
  • Inquiry Based Learning
  • School Garden Resources
  • The Garden Coordinator
  • And more!

Enjoy learning and connecting with great people who have a shared passion for kids, gardens and good food. Snacks provided. And yes, Steve the Rabbit will be there.

This training is free! All are welcome, even those outside Cowlitz County.
Register by simply replying to Ian.

Please specify which day works best for you.

Thank you for matching The Health Care Foundation grant

DSC_0640Thank you for making this happen – your donations totaling $10,000 have poured in over the last few months.  We will now send that to The Health Care Foundation who will in turn write a check for $20,000 to support local school gardens.
As you may know, everything we do is made possible by private donations (40%) and grants (60%).  All the weekly garden and cooking programs that we design and run (serving 2900 students last year); all the sheds, fences, raised beds, irrigation lines, and trellises that we install; all the tools, microscopes, fruit trees, seeds, plants, fertilizers, soil, etc that we buy; all the harvest festivals, Earth Day, STEM events, volunteer trainings – all this is made possible by the generosity of people like you.
$RBD9MW7 The success of this matching grant puts us closer to what we need to bring in this year to continue to provide and expand these services (still seeking $21,000 more in general donations and $20,000 from our Fall Harvest Event).
You’ve heard this before, but can I say it again?  5 years ago there was one school garden in these parts; today there are thirteen.
$RVFQV7QThis was not a federal, state, or district initiative; rather, this was our community saying “This needs to happen.  This kind of hands-on learning centered around nature and real food is not just kinda neat, it is essential.  And every child deserves to have the opportunities and experiences that a school garden provides.”
GARDEN SUMMER 2010 080Lower Columbia School Gardens formed in 2010 to answer that call, and we have been going full tilt ever since. Thank you for partnering with us every step of the way.



Butler Acres Elementary School Garden is now online

Our newest garden is a place to be if you like to grow and learn! Many families brought their best worker bees to participate in the recent work party. We are transforming the hillside into an outdoor classroom suited for science, math and nutrition lessons and for promoting good stewardship of our planet Earth. Our accomplishments so far: building retaining walls to create flat spots and “rooms” within the larger footprint, stripping sod and spreading soil, installing drains, shoveling gravel and, most importantly…planting! Already in: herbs, peas, onions, lettuce, squash, blueberries, grapes, nasturtiums, and more to come.

For a task list and the garden calendar see the garden website. Contact Cathleen McNelly if you like to help or have any questions.

Kellogg Gardens donates compost and soil

kellog1Steve the Rabbit’s crew just picked up the first part of a HUGE DONATION from Kellogg Gardens in Longview: two and a half pallets of really good organic compost and planting soil (that’s $1,300 worth)!
kellog2Another great example of a local business helping to make a healthier community.
Thank you Kellogg Gardens – we will need to fill about 30 new raised beds in the next few months, so this is the perfect gift for school gardens.  kellog3 kellog4