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Donations help gardens grow at Massena Central High School, Jefferson Elementary School

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MASSENA - Gardens will be growing at Jefferson Elementary School and Massena Central High School thanks to a number of donations.

The Jefferson Garden Club will benefit from $40 worth of top soil donated by Mike Hewlett; $80 worth of garden supplies, such as soil, seeds, cups, trays and a garden hose, donated by the Friends of Jefferson Parent Group; $40 worth of garden supplies, including trays, seeds, cups and soil, donated by Jefferson fourth-grade teachers Barb Hewlett, Diane Toth and Paula Henry; and four 2-foot by 8-foot rough-cut pine-raised beds donated by Matthew Rourke.

The high school garden effort is being benefited by $600 in donations. They include $30 from Teresa Doe to purchase seeds for peas, zucchini, basil, dill, carrots, tomatoes and cilantro. Home Depot is providing $100 worth of lumber for one 4-foot by 12-foot raised bed, while Northrup’s Hillside Nursery is donating 3 cubic yards of topsoil, a $150 value.

Also contributing to the effort are David Doe, who is providing $200 for stipends for summer workers, and Katie Coia Higgins, who is providing $20 worth of hand tools. A “Liberty Partnership” budget is allowing them to purchase $100 worth of items, including weed mesh, mulch, bedding plans, potting soil, manure, perlite, seed starter and peat pots.

The establishment of the gardens and the donations had to be approved by the district’s Board of Education, which they did at their recent meeting. Board member and Facilities Committee Chairman Kevin F. Perretta said his committee had held meetings to talk about the gardens and they’re in good shape to move forward with the projects.

“They presented ideas for two different gardens. I think they did a pretty good job of coming up with a long-term maintenance plan,” he said

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