Southeast Elementary, community volunteers create sensory garden
An outdoor music wall is a feature in the complex of gardens and installations created this month at Southeast Elementary School by students and staff and community volunteers. Teacher Tracie Marshburn won a statewide grant to finance the sensory garden project. Submitted photo
Students’ planning, a statewide grant and the help of community volunteers have created a new sensory garden and outdoor music wall at Southeast Elementary School.
“The focus of the project was to engage students in planning, planting and maintaining a garden which would appeal to the five senses,” teacher Tracie Marshburn said. “In addition, I hoped to raise awareness of the needs at Southeast Elementary School within community organizations.”
Marshburn, who works with special needs children, wrote and won a Bright Ideas grant for $1,350 from N.C. Electric Cooperatives to finance the project. She received additional support from school nurse Nicole Sugg and principal Andre Whitfield.
The garden complex created in the school’s courtyard is actually a series of gardens and installations designed to appeal to and stimulate the five senses — taste, touch, sight, hearing and smell.
“To address taste, we created the Cub Vineyards with grapevines and blueberry bushes; to address touch, sight, and sound, we created a nature path with plantings of various textures,” Marshburn said. “Within the nature bed, we included chimes, bird feeders and a bird house so that the students can learn about these concepts. To address the sense of hearing, we have the Cub Music Wall.”
The Music Wall was the work of the Kinston First Pentecostal Holiness Church Royal Rangers. Representatives from Bethel Free Will Baptist Church donated products for the garden project and assisted with labor, as did Southeast parents and students.
“We want to thank everyone who joined in this effort to create a beautiful space where our student can learn and grow,” Marshburn said.