CRESTVIEW ó Riverside Elementary School students now can harvest vegetables with the addition of a green on the campusí north side.


CRESTVIEW ó Riverside Elementary School students now can harvest vegetables with the addition of a green on the campusí north side.



Two gardens grow strawberries, cilantro and tomatoes, among other produce. However, none of it would be possible without a businessí help.



The Crestview Lowe's Home Improvement store donated several items including a garden hose, potting soil and vegetable seeds. A crew used cinder blocks to build the green.



Lydia Bradley, the school's lunchroom manager and garden club supervisor, expressed gratitude for the contributions.



"They have provided us with everything we have asked for," she said.



  Bradley, along with several teachers, had wanted to start the program since last year.



"Lydia had to do a lot of the leg work," said Jo Ann Messick, a special education teacher. "It's exciting; it gives the kids that normally don't grow things a chance to see how things are grown."



The club has six members, including Kaelyn Neville, 9, who had prior gardening experience. The third-grader daily tends to her family's garden, she said, but she hopes the club will help expand her knowledge.



"I never really grew peas, so I wonder how they grow that," Neville said.      



Kaelynís mother, Amy, said she thinks the club will benefit young membersí work ethic and appetite.



"If they grow a tomato, they are more likely to eat it than if you just put it on a plate," she said.



WANT TO HELP?



Riverside Elementaryís garden club seeks donations and resources. Interested donors can contact Lydia Bradley, bradleyly@mail.okaloosa.k12.fl.us.



Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Matthew Brown at 850-682-6524 or matthewb@crestviewbulletin.com. Follow him on Twitter @cnbMatthew.