Gardening: Each spring the third graders plant seeds in one of the garden beds that is assigned to their class. The third graders are responsible for maintaining the garden, which includes weeding, raking, and eventually harvesting and possibly replanting. During the summer, the garden is maintained by summer school students and with a little help from our neighbors. During the fall, our fourth graders are assigned the beds. Planting is done as soon as school starts and then it’s the fourth graders’ turn to weed, rake and harvest. The produce that is harvested is donated to local charities where it is distributed to those who can use it. The organic vegetable garden is only part of all the growing that is done at West. While studying the “Prairie State,” our students learn about the native plants and wild flowers that grow here. Along our front walk the “Green Club” has planted a variety of native prarie plants and grasses. On our front lawn, we have a variety of wild flowers planted in three large beds… some native… some not… but all are just part of the outdoor classroom that the students explore.