Lincolnwood parents build the star garden. Submitted photo.

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 On May 18, Lincolnwood families gathered to build the Lincolnwood Star Garden, which will be a sustainable, edible garden and enable children to engage with fresh fruits and vegetables.  Lincolnwood Superstars and their teachers will use this garden as an outdoor classroom for years to come. Designed by Lincolnwood parent and landscape architect, Paul Williams of Williams Design Group, the raised garden beds are laid out in the shape of a star. 

In addition to learning proper planting techniques, students will learn about soil, composting and what it means to grow food organically. Planting activities vary by grade level and incorporate Illinois State science standards into each lesson.  Lincolnwood is benefiting from the guidance of SAGE (Schools Are Gardening in Evanston), a community group dedicated to promoting edible, sustainable school gardens in Evanston.  

Lincolnwood kindergarten, first and second graders planted spinach, lettuce, kale, swiss chard and arugula. Third graders added to the garden’s variety by planting nasturtiums – edible flowers. In addition to planting, students were treated to a lesson on worms and soil, led by local master gardener and member of the Lincolnwood Garden Committee, Joan Kerr. 

Lincolnwood parents Katrina Martin and Dana Gerstein spearheaded the project in January 2012.  The original design of the garden came from retired music teacher, John Tanis. Funding for this project is from the combined resources of Lincolnwood families, in-kind donations, District 65, and a $2,000 grant from the Whole Kids foundation of Whole Foods.