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Friday, August 23, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Sheridan Elementary builds new community garden to help grow students’ skills, and hopefully, enjoy a fresh snack too

Third grader Leighla Bias, right shovels dirt at Sheridan Elementary in Spokane on Saturday, May 4, 2019. Comcast Cable partnered with students and volunteers to construct raised beds for the Sheridan Elementary Community Garden. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)
Third grader Leighla Bias, right shovels dirt at Sheridan Elementary in Spokane on Saturday, May 4, 2019. Comcast Cable partnered with students and volunteers to construct raised beds for the Sheridan Elementary Community Garden. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)

Wearing white garden gloves too big for his hands, 9-year-old Taden Eirdam shoveled dirt from the Sheridan Elementary parking lot into a wheelbarrow, headed for a garden.

“It’s very fun to have a garden,” he said. “We have the plants so we can get food.”

Eirdam was one of about 75 people who woke up early Saturday to build a community garden at Sheridan Elementary School. With help from the project’s sponsor Comcast Corp., students, parents and other volunteers are giving the school a way to teach children about science, plants, sustainable food and gardening, said Sheridan science teacher Christina Grieshaber.

“It will give kids a chance to understand an ecosystem,” Grieshaber said, noting that it will also be a fun way to eat because students could grow things like “salsa ingredients for a salsa party” in their classrooms.

Grieshaber said that each planter box will be adopted by a family over the summer so they can grow food and have a bonding activity that’s constructive.

Grieshaber got the idea for the community garden from a friend who works at Roosevelt Elementary, where a similar program exists, she said.

On Saturday, workers built eight garden beds, four planter barrels and new picnic tables at Sheridan Elementary. Washington State University Master Gardeners donated the seeds for the garden, Grieshaber said.

Comcast partnered with the school as part of the company’s Comcast Cares Day, and provided the materials, tools and a crew to aide in building the garden.

Noah Eirdam, Taden’s dad, who works at the school as a speech therapist, said the garden will be a way to build a stronger community at Sheridan.

“It’s a way to bond and work together,” he said.

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