New MSU learning garden celebrates local flora, culture in Leflore County

Greg Stevens

Get in touch with: Vanessa Beeson

Leflore County Elementary School Principal April Smith cuts the ribbon as students and other leaders from the local area and Mississippi State University look on during a May 19 ribbon cutting ceremony.
Leflore County Elementary College Principal April Smith cuts the ribbon as learners and other leaders from the regional space and Mississippi State College glimpse on all through a Could 19 ribbon chopping ceremony for the new blues-themed mastering backyard. (Image by Kenner Patton)

ITTA BENA, Miss.—Learning is flourishing in the Mississippi Delta as Mississippi Point out school and Leflore County leaders rejoice the set up of a blues-themed mastering backyard garden at Leflore County Elementary College with a ribbon slicing this week.

MSU school and learners created and set up the state’s 3rd MSU learning garden using an award-profitable strategy called The Dwelling Place: A Freeware Learning Back garden Targeted on Health and fitness, Food and Nutrition Education. The design was created by these in the MSU College or university of Agriculture and Existence Sciences landscape architecture department and the School of Architecture, Artwork and Design and style architecture and graphic style and design applications.

Abbey Wallace, assistant professor of landscape architecture, co-led the venture with Suzanne Powney, associate professor of graphic design. Wallace mentioned the style/create collaboration among CALS and CAAD includes 5 landscape architecture college students, who developed and built the garden’s infrastructure and 8 graphic structure learners, who themed the backyard, producing its graphics and shade scheme.

“This garden integrates a pod method which is personalized to the school. Leflore County Elementary is pre-K through sixth grade so we made three pods for distinct ages,” Wallace described.

Young students and teachers plant in part of the new learning garden at Leflore County Elementary School
Pupils and instructors plant in aspect of the new mastering back garden at Leflore County Elementary College. (Picture by Kenner Patton)

The blues-themed yard incorporates a counting-themed pod for Pre-K by way of initial graders with shorter benches and planters for smaller children, a pod themed around regionally developed vegetables for next by means of fourth graders, and a pod all about pollinators for fifth and sixth graders. Just about every pod has a planter area, seating area and trellis where plants will grow to provide shade. An irrigation technique is included.

The group also built a 40-student amphitheater as an out of doors classroom at the school’s request. A shaded teacher’s station with counterspace, storage and chalkboard full the learning setting.

Wallace claimed the character of the job provides MSU pupils a prospect to produce and employ actual-earth style.

“A one of a kind part of this is that pupils need to think how these style and design elements can be built so they can be transported. We put all the things on a 24-foot-lengthy trailer so we need to determine out how to style it so we can transportation it and put it collectively in 4 times,” she explained.

She reported the aim was to design and style a cozy low-maintenance area the school’s teachers, staff and students would look at their individual.

“While setting up the garden, I listened to an elementary school scholar say he couldn’t wait around to mature turnip greens in the backyard. Though we style and design these areas contemplating that young children aren’t common with gardening, looking at him psyched demonstrates the backyard is also a possibility for college students to produce possession and master about concepts like time and obligation,” she mentioned. “This backyard is a lot more than just teaching our college students about design. It demonstrates how our college can influence area communities in Mississippi.”

Cory Gallo, interim assistant dean and landscape architecture professor, led the design and style/make of two previous studying gardens. He echoed Wallace’s sentiment of the gardens’ result on nearby communities.

“I’m thrilled that this is the 2nd backyard garden in the Mississippi Delta. It’s an opportunity for our learners to get that experiential finding out, but also a excellent lead to that hopefully will have a actual impression on kids in the place,” he claimed.

He’s most happy of passing alongside the reins to Wallace, an MSU landscape architecture alumna who returned to her alma mater to make a variation in her residence condition. 

“I’m so happy of Abbey coming in and knocking it out of the park. The task moves the plan ahead in new methods and is a pretty entire remedy dependent on the concept of a doing the job back garden delivered on a truck and set up in a few shorter times,” he said.

Collaborators consist of Aim for Alter (Advancing, Inspiring, Motivating for Community Health through Extension), an MSU Extension software, which funded the undertaking with assistance from the Centers for Condition Handle and Prevention.

For more on MSU’s Division of Landscape Architecture, go to Stop by the Department of Art’s graphic layout plan at

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university out there on the net at

Two elementary students look over the new learning garden area
The blues-themed understanding garden at Leflore County Elementary University, which was created and mounted by MSU school and learners, utilizes an award-profitable principle known as The Living Place: A Freeware Mastering Yard Targeted on Overall health, Food and Nourishment Training. (Image by Kenner Patton)


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