Schools Grow Butterflies and Birds

By Charlie Nardozzi

School gardening is becoming more popular as teachers and parents realize the benefits to learning that this hands-on education offers. Now major corporations are getting involved.

The Hilton Garden Inn, a chain of almost 200 hotels in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, wanted to have some type of local service project in each community where they have a hotel. For the past three years, they have worked with National Gardening Association to sponsor indoor and outdoor school gardens in more than 100 of the communities where they're located. NGA's senior horticulturist, Charlie Nardozzi, has assisted as Hilton Garden Inn's chief gardening officer.

This year the program has been expanded. Charlie has worked with the hotel chain's Grow a School Garden Education Program to produce three new gardening kits that schools can use to create themed gardens. The Bird Habitat, Butterfly Habitat, and Super-Nutritious Gardening kits provide the seeds, books, and accessories needed to create these educational and attractive gardens. They not only help students beautify their schools, they also enable students to use a hands-on approach and learn about subjects such as science, math, and social studies in a fun way.

For more on this innovative program and these new themed garden kits, visit the Hilton School Garden Education Program Web site.

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