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Kendall elementary students plant orchard by school

Photos courtesy of Kristina Gabalski: Students at Kendall Elementary School work to plant a school orchard on Friday morning.

Posted 15 June 2019 at 2:27 pm

Press Release, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Orleans County

KENDALL – Members of the Kendall Elementary-based 4-H Club and Kendall Elementary students joined forces last week to plant a school orchard.

The project was a joint effort between the school and the 4-H Club, which meets regularly during the school year, as a community service project.

“We proposed to idea to Sharon Smith, Kendall Elementary Principal, last year and she enthusiastically supported the project,” said Kristina Gabalski, Orleans County 4-H Program Coordinator. “School orchards provide educational and nutritional benefits to students by providing a place to learn about nature, grow plants and produce food. The orchard at Kendall Elementary will be a living classroom and a laboratory without walls where students can study everything from botany to art, as well as relax and be refreshed by its beauty.”

Principal Sharon Smith works with Kendall Elementary students to plant a tree in the new orchard.

The Kendall Elementary School orchard is located just outside the south wing of the school where it will be easy for students to access as well as care for the planting.

“The spot will also provide some protection from wind and receive lots of sun all year,” Gabalski said.

The orchard includes six trees: two Enterprise apples (a new disease-resistant variety); two Northern Spy apples (a heritage variety); one Blake’s Pride pear; and one Stanley plum.

The trees were donated by Sara’s Garden Center in Brockport, which has also enthusiastically supported the project. Additionally, Orleans County Cornell Cooperative Extension received a $500 grant from Gro More Grassroots Grants presented by the Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation and KidsGardening. Grant funds were used to purchase garden tools, mulch and additional supplies for the orchard.

Sharon Smith said she foresees the orchard having a prominent place in the Kendall community for years to come.

“The more children we involve in this, and the more families in the community who become involved in this, will mean that this orchard is valued and protected for many decades,” she said.  “Students will take these skills and this love back home and apply it in their own gardens with their own families, and eventually with their own children as adults.”

Gabalski would also like to acknowledge the support and help of Dan Brundage, Kendall Elementary Buildings and Grounds Manager, and his staff for their guidance and enthusiasm in making the orchard a reality.

“We have an amazing relationship between Orleans County Cornell Cooperative Extension, 4-H, and Kendall Elementary,” she said. “It is so exciting to be able to work together on projects like this that enhance the quality of life in our community.”

Members of the Kendall Elementary 4-H Club place trees before they were planted on June 7.

Kendall Elementary students are framed by foliage from one of the fruit trees while they work on planting another.

Students dug holes, planted trees and watered and mulched the new transplants.

The newly planted Kendall Elementary School Orchard with the school in the background.

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