Our vision is to be a living learning experience that involves students in environmental stewardship, service learning, and building community connections.
We build curriculum connections by integrating garden activities with a range of learning topics such as math, science, art, literature, and nutrition.
We are a site for service learning that offers students the opportunity to contribute to their community, develop a strong work ethic, and increase self-esteem.
We build community by welcoming and encouraging residents of all ages to work together and contribute food to the community.
We chose the name “Camas Roots” in honor of the Camas Lily, a native plant that flowers in our town’s meadows each spring. Native Americans used the root of the Camas lily for sustenance.
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.
If you would like to volunteer at the Camas Roots Garden you can find information here. You can also register here. On the registration page please tell us a little about yourself and any skills or areas of interest. You can find orientation information here.
Below are some children eagerly learning about agriculture. They are also learning about the benefits that come from nurturing and building upon their knowledge, ideas and efforts. These and many other subjects they will learn while having lots of fun here at Camas Roots Garden.