Giving Through Gardening

2014-15 Grant Awards


By nurturing a love of gardening, a respect for nature and giving back where we can—we are hoping to benefit our community, one classroom at a time.


Mill Creek Garden Club is proud to announce its 2014-15 “Giving through Gardening” grant winners. We were able to award $3,614.72 this year, thanks in part to the community’s support of our flower basket sales, garage sales and our members’ backing of meeting fundraisers.

Lila Johnson, Grant Committee member has the pleasure of delivering 3 checks to the excited Forest View grant writers! Left to right: Kari Henderson, Lila, Brandy Schroeder, Debra Strong & Holly Martinez

Forest View Elementary which is blessed by a green belt location, but it’s the way they are incorporating that area into the learning process that impresses many in the garden club.

  • Fifth Grade teachers Debra Strong and Brandy Schroeder grabbed our attention with their idea of creating an “outdoor classroom” in that natural area with convertible picnic tables and benches (4), secured with chain and padlocks; binoculars (3); “A Field Guide to Pacific States Wildflowers” (2) and “Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast” (2). This project will provide an outdoor teaching area for field studies, creative writing and nature-inspired art. A winning idea!
  • Second Grade teacher, Kari Henderson, spoke our language when commenting she was tired of seeing a 6 ft. tall weed outside her classroom window! After discussing ways to naturally control the weeds, she asked for bags of playground mulching chips (50), hand weeders and hand trowels (12 of each) and 2 gallon-sized Red Flowering Currant plants (10). Her plan is to continue the work of the 5th graders to create a natural habitat area right outside her classro0m window. Kari commented that her Kindergarteners just loved to “dig in the dirt,” but the second graders got the concept of “digging up weeds.” It’s called getting them to enjoy gardening when they’re young—a brilliant idea! The bonus will be the hummingbirds drawn to the plants.
  • Principal Holly Martinez requested funding for the final phase of Forest View’s butterfly garden overlooking their natural habitat. The planting will be done by the students with mentoring from the garden club’s Pat Huckell who has a wonderful butterfly garden in her own Mill Creek yard. Plant it and the butterflies will come—Pat has the pictures to prove it!
Pam Gadsden, Grant Committee member is embraced by Principal Dr. Betty Cobbs.

Woodside Elementary’s grant submission came from Principal Dr. Betty Cobbs. She requested planting soil and colorful perennial plantings for their “W” planter originally built with MCGC grant funds. The Fourth/Fifth Grade student council will work together to plant and maintain the new plantings and in the process teach all students pride in the beautification of their school. Caring for a garden can be a great teacher.

We were not able to get a picture from Mill Creek Elementary, but they were thrilled with their award.

Our namesake school Mill Creek Elementary touched our hearts with their grant submitted by Principal Brenda Fuglevand and MCGC member, Karen Brandon, asking for a Friendship Bench to be designed and built by students under Eagle Scout supervision, along with compost and native plants to create a nearby butterfly garden, complete with stepping stones made by the students. The idea behind the friendship bench is to provide a special place for students wanting to be included in recess activities or perhaps engage in friendly chats. The school was awarded funding for bench materials, compost, sustainable native plants and stepping stone kits.

4th & 5th Grade HC (highly capable) Students of teacher Char Erickson welcome Principal Dr. David Jones and MCGC Awards & Donations Chair, Sandi Vivion as the check is delivered! Kids in background, Dr Jones, Sandi and Char Erickson

Cedar Wood whose grant writer Char Erickson, teacher of Fourth/Fifth Grade Highly Capable students, had the fabulous idea of creating a 10x20 foot Teaching Wall on the north side of her classroom to be used by the entire school. The wall will have diagrams and drawings tracing the nutrient and water cycles and the part plants play in this unending process. The students will research, design and create the wall which will be painted on a dry, sunny Saturday in the spring. MCGC provided funds for paint, brushes, primer, sealer, drop cloths and plywood sheets. Sounds like an amazing project and a great photo opportunity on building day!