The Camas Roots Garden is a living learning experience that involves students in environmental stewardship, service learning, and building community connections.
- CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS: We integrate garden activities with a range of learning topics such as math, science, art, literature, and nutrition.
- SERVICE LEARNING: We offer students the opportunity to contribute to their community, develop a strong work ethic, and increase self-esteem.
- COMMUNITYBUILDING: Our garden space welcomes and encourages people of all ages to work together, and contributes food to the community.
Camas Roots is located next to the JDZ Administration Building and involves students from preschool to high school, as well as youth in the Clark County Juvenile Justice system. Produce from the garden is eaten by students, donated to the Inter-faith Treasure House food bank, and, occasionally, sold at the Camas Farmer’s Market.
The first “seed” for the Camas Roots garden was planted in October, 2005 when a group of concerned parents began to discuss ways to integrate food, nutrition, and physical activity into the school setting. This parent group joined forces with a group of JD Zellerbach Elementary School teachers and administrators working to create environmental learning opportunities for students at that school.
In early 2006, the Camas School District designated a plot of land adjacent to JD Zellerbach Elementary School for the garden. Encompassing approximately 7,000 square feet of land, the site has ample space for both a vegetable garden and an outdoor classroom.
Camas Alternative Program (now Hayes Freedom High School) service learning students prepared the site for planting the garden’s first beds and donations from numerous supporters allowed us to erect deer fencing and install an irrigation system.
The garden has continued to grow and develop with input from students, community members, and community organizations.
In 2009, we were able to harvest and donate approximately 1,000 pounds of organic produce to the Interfaith Treasure House food bank, which serves residents in Camas and Washougal.