Summer - and Other - School at Silverwood

Children, from kindergarten to high school seniors, are a target audience for Silverwood Park's message of regenerative agriculture.

The Edgerton School District has conducted summer school classes at Silverwood Park since 2014.  Now those three-week sessions in June include Kindergarten, Elementary levels and Middle School, too.

In 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, summer school was not conducted in the same manner. At Silverwood, family gardening groups were instead formed with some students' families working garden plots at the park.

This is a picture of a Summer School class activity at Silverwood Park.

2020: Gardening for Edgerton School District students

We’ve partnered in recent years with the Edgerton School District to educate young people about sustainable agriculture. In summer 2020, about 30 Edgerton-area students and their families participated in a hands-on gardening experience at Silverwood. Teacher Barb Gausman provided an orientation to gardening at Silverwood to family groups, with masks and social distancing. Each family was assigned a 10 by 30 garden to cultivate. Plots were spaced at least 6 feet apart, so families could work in their gardens and keep a safe distance from others during the coronavirus pandemic. Advice and resources were provided via Google Classroom.

This is a picture of a mother and daughter doing family gardening at Silverwood Park in 2020

What participants said:

  • “We loved getting to use the beautiful land, growing our own food, meeting new gardening friends.”
  • “Our children learned that a garden is a demanding project with weeding and watering but the outcome is worth it.”
  • “Because of this experience, we will visit the park (it felt like our second home all summer!) and would love to garden at Silverwood again.”

Click here for resources used in the summer program about planting and maintaining your garden, foraging in nature, science and creative activities.

This is a picture of 2015 Edgerton School District summer school students in a painting project.

Previous collaborations with Edgerton High School

Between 2015 and 2018, agriculture students grew tomatoes and jalapenos peppers for salsa at Silverwood Park.  The harvested vegetables were processed by Innovation Kitchens, LLC in Dodgeville.  Art students designed the food label and marketing students created a plan for marketing the Tider Salsa at local retail establishments.  Watch a video about the initiative here!

Agriculture students and staff planted a garden at Silverwood, then donated the produce to Edgerton Community Outreach and the school lunch program. Alternative program students planted and harvested winter carrots and donated them to Community Outreach.

This is a picture of 2018 Edgerton Summer School students showing their gardening plots.