The National Wildlife Federation Teams Up for School Garden Project

The National Wildlife Federation’s Rocky Mountain Regional Center recently partnered with TIAA-CREF, a financial institution that helps people in the academic field, for one of its 2015 employee service days. The TIAA-CREF employees and the National Wildlife Federation staff helped Pine Lane Elementary School in Parker, Colorado with their garden project by assisting teacher Margaret Condron, her students and parents build a new 30-foot-by-30-foot garden.

Pine Lane Elementary School students cleaning up bee garden. Photo by Kam Sullivan
“On behalf of TIAA-CREF, it was our pleasure to be out there with you all, have a chance to see Pine Lane Elementary School and build an educational tool that will serve students hopefully for years to come,” said Adeeb Khan, TIAA-CREF’s Director of Corporate Responsibility.

Condron said the Parker school’s staff, students and parents were grateful for the help in achieving this milestone. The larger garden that was built will be a vegetable garden for the school, and the smaller existing garden will serve as a pollinator garden for native bumblebees, solitary bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and other local wildlife.

The Eastern tiger swallowtail is one of the native butterfly species that could visit the school’s pollinator garden. Photo by TexasEagle via Flickr Creative Commons
“Everyone was excited but once they saw the work accomplished in such a short time, there was even more buzz. [That] Saturday evening we had an event at the school and there was lots of talk about the garden, how much larger it is, the big impact it will have on the kids. We are truly grateful,” Condron said.

kids cleaning bee garden
Pine Lane Elementary School students cleaning bee garden. Photo by Kam Sullivan
The National Wildlife Federation staff was thankful for the help from TIAA-CREF employees in their work to connect kids with nature, said Kamla Sullivan, NWF’s regional outreach education coordinator.

“One of the National Wildlife Federation’s key goals is to foster appreciation of the outdoors and wildlife among children and families and give children opportunities to learn about nature hands-on,” Sullivan said.

Learn more about how the National Wildlife Federation works with schools to develop outdoor learning and environmental education through its Schoolyard Habitats and Eco-Schools USA programs.