The Gecko Garden is the heart of our school. It was relocated to it's current location in the 2018/2019 year with funding from the parents and alumni (some of the donations are commemorated by plaques under one of the trees).
The garden is managed by Elena Banks
As many Grant TK-8 students return to campus this 2022-23 school year, the Gecko Garden has eagerly awaited our students, parents, and community in our newly paved Outdoor Science Learning Lab. With generous funding from Grant's PTA, Foundation, and the hard-working Mission Hills Nursery Crew, the Garden installed permanent walking pavers over the summer. It was a big job, but the Garden is now equipped for our seasonal San Diego wet weather, making it possible to hold outdoor classes in the rain without getting stuck in the mud!
Your students will also observe a new Gecko Garden Sign generously donated by the Mission Hills Garden Club in front of the Garden and a newly painted garden shed towards the back. Mrs. Jimenez and I were busy native bees painting our Garden shed with many Monarch butterflies, caterpillars, milkweed, and a hovering Anna's Hummingbird on the back of the shed. The theme was rightly named "Monarchs and Milkweed". Our newly painted garden shed was featured at the 24th Annual Mission Hills Garden Walk. In this event, the Garden hosted over 200 Grant TK-8 music students, parents, the Mission Hills community, Master Gardeners, and Council Member Stephen Whitburn for a Presentation of Proclamation last spring.
This year also brings a growth of existing fruit trees, native plants, and the pollinator garden dedicated to former PTA president Lara Gates. Our garden milkweed (generously supported/stocked by our Middle School parent and the San Diego Audubon native seed library) hosts monarch butterflies and other native pollinators. This year, Grant TK-8 received a Community Science & "Bird Watch" grant that will allow students to observe, count, and collect data for Cornell University. Get your binoculars ready; we are going bird-watching this year!
I am excited to see your students grow and develop in our incredible Outdoor Learning Lab. We will conduct scientific experiments, grow organic vegetables and implement conservation and sustainable garden practices to provide Grant TK-8 students with stewardship actions that will help protect our school's green space, local ecosystem, and beyond.
Grant's TK-8 Science & Garden Coordinator