FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
South Burlington, Vermont (October, 2005) - The National Gardening Association (NGA) is happy to announce the second annual "Remember Me" Rose School Garden Awards, sponsored by Messenger? (a revolutionary plant health activator), and Edmunds' Roses. The purpose of this award program is to support schools that wish to create gardens to commemorate the events of September 11, 2001; catalyze and support training in conflict resolution and mediation skills that prepare students to seek and achieve fair and peaceful solutions to conflicts; and serve as centers of activity and learning that enhance the school curriculum. Twenty winning programs will each receive 10 rose bushes, Messenger plant health activator, and related educational materials in time for planting in Spring 2006. Visit the Kidsgardening.com Web site to download an application.
"Students experience the nuts and bolts of peace - good communication and healthy interaction - when they work together in the garden," says Michael Metallo, President of NGA. "Educators report that kids with a diverse range of backgrounds and abilities quickly develop social skills such as cooperation, sharing, and leadership, and forge friendships that didn't previously exist through school gardens. And, the gardens themselves become valued centers for engaging learning experiences in all areas of the curriculum. The 'Remember Me' Rose School Garden Award gives them the opportunity to build upon an already peaceful foundation."
How did this manifest for recipients of the first annual award?
At Langley High School in Pittsburgh, PA, horticulture teacher Barb Waskowiac was impressed with her students' enthusiasm, especially since these were not the same kids who had planted the garden in the spring. "In our brainstorming sessions during the first week of school, I asked them how the garden could benefit Langley." Several students spoke at the rose garden dedication ceremony on September 9th. "I was amazed at the depth of thought they displayed," Barb says. Matt Barnes, a senior, said that he hopes that the garden, with its plaque commemorating the 9/11 victims, will give students perspective on the little things they find to fight about. Another said that she and her friends enjoy the quiet, calming atmosphere of the garden because it offers a place to reflect, regroup, and relax during the hectic school day - an important factor of conflict prevention. Yet another pointed out that, though the garden recalls a tragic event, seeing the roses bloom brings some joy to the heart.
"All too often we forget that our children need a safe place where they can turn within. 'Remember Me' Rose School Garden Award gives them an opportunity to create their own space. Though created in the face of tragedy, this space is positive, uplifting, and reflects the cycle of life renewal each year," says Sue Casey, Founder and President of "Remember Me" Rose Gardens, a nonprofit organization creating remembrance rose gardens at each of the three major 9/11 crash sites.
The lead sponsor of the "Remember Me" School Garden Awards is Messenger, a product of Eden Bioscience Corporation. When the chance arose for Messenger to fund the awards, Jeff McClellan, Home & Garden Market Manager for Eden Bioscience recognized a strong connection among the parties involved. "'Remember Me' Rose Gardens and the 'Remember Me' Rose School Garden Awards program are a tribute to the memory of those who perished in the events of September 11, 2001, and the conviction that their lives will inspire us in the future. The recognition of the beauty lost that day and the hope for that beauty to resurrect itself is perfectly symbolized by a rose. These gardens signify recognition, remembrance, and resurrection. Messenger is honored to support and compliment the objective of these gardens."
Messenger?, introduced for home and garden use in 2004, is a plant health activator that triggers a plant's immune system with a naturally occurring protein called harpin. With Messenger, plants are empowered to utilize their natural defenses against disease and stress. Treated plants absorb more nutrients for more robust growth, leading to larger blooms, more fruits and foliage. Messenger was awarded the EPA's Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award and is endorsed by three national gardening organizations. For more information, visit www.messenger.info
Edmunds' Roses is a family-owned and operated rose nursery located in Wilsonville, OR. They have introduced three varieties of roses in honor of "Remember Me" Rose Gardens: 'Firefighter' was named for the firefighters of the FDNY, 'Soaring Spirits' was named to honor the victims of the Twin Towers and their families, and 'We Salute You' was named to honor the victims at the Pentagon. A portion of proceeds from sales of these roses supports the efforts of "Remember Me" Rose Gardens.
"Remember Me" Rose Gardens is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating three gardens, one each in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania, on or near the sites of each attack. "Remember Me" Rose Gardens celebrates gardening for its ability to strengthen the body, soothe the mind, and lift the spirit. For updates on the progress of these gardens, visit www.remember-me-rose.org.
The National Gardening Association's efforts are focused on plant- and garden-based education for children and youth, and on providing sound and useful information to gardeners. Visit www.garden.org to learn more. For information on gardening with children, and award opportunities for schools and youth organizations, visit the Kidsgardening.com Web site.