Rochester Students Get First Taste of Gardening

It is never too soon to learn about the benefits of plants and gardens, and the members of the Rochester Garden Club are eager to share their knowledge with the youngest community members. Each spring, the club is invited into the pre-kindergarten classrooms of Rochester Schools to run a program that gives the smallest students their first hands-on gardening lesson. This April, members visited all the pre-kindergarten classrooms in the district and worked with over 300 students.

Two adults work with two young students at a table to learn basic gardening skills

Rochester Students Get First Taste of Gardening

“We bring in buckets of soil, hundreds of seeds, and a small planter pack for each student”, said project leader Nancy Flasck. “Students learn about the benefits of plants, how they give us food, fibers, and air. We then demonstrate how to plant a seed and guide them in planting their own little garden that they can take home and nurture”. This year, the four-year-old students planted sunflowers, pumpkins, green beans and zinnia flowers.

The Rochester Garden Club has been running this program in partnership with Rochester Schools since the mid-1980s and is a favorite of club members. “We give our young students a fun first lesson about gardens, one we hope stays with them for a lifetime”, said club member Nancy Walton. “One of our goals is to educate the community about nature and conservation, and this is a wonderful outreach for us. Club members always leave the classroom with a big smile and sense of accomplishment.”

The Rochester Garden Club has been serving the community for 80 years. Funds for this preschool program, civic beautification, scholarships and more are generated through sales at the annual Gifts & Greens Market held in early December. For more information, visit

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