Guerneville School garden debuts Sunday

Guerneville School’s annual spring garden celebration this Sunday will include a ribbon-cutting ceremony and public tour of the school’s new outdoor teaching garden.

Chef Crista Luedtke of Boon Eat & Drink will offer a cooking demonstration at the April 29 event starting at noon at the school on Armstrong Woods Road. Festivities include a tour of the new main campus teaching garden followed by a visit to the original Guerneville School community garden, adjacent to the campus, that will soon host classes, demos and events, said Guerneville School District Superintendent Dana Pedersen.

The new garden classroom was in part the work of Avalow of Santa Rosa, a garden consulting company, as well as local agency supporters such as Daily Acts, North Bay Conservation Corps, First 5 Sonoma County, the Sonoma County Water Agency and the Russian River Rotary Club, said Pedersen.

Avalow (www.avalow.com) was tapped to help design, build and install the new outdoor classroom that includes 20 handcrafted raised beds made of corrugated aluminum and reclaimed Douglas Fir and outfitted with Avalow’s proprietary sub-irrigation reservoir.

The classroom has areas for lectures, seed planting, composting, rain catchment and trellised vegetables. An addition to the new classroom is the school’s lustrous historical garden started a dozen years ago on a piece of adjacent property. This original 5-acre garden area location has been maintained with the combined efforts of school staff, community volunteers and employees from the neighboring Boon Resort and Spa.

 “The school’s entire Education Outdoor Program is based on a certified, standards-based curriculum that has been developed and refined over the last 13 years by the Guerneville School staff and community partners,” said Pedersen.

The original historical garden will continue to be used for after-school activities, community events and school field trips. It may also be available for future private rental events, with proceeds going to the maintenance of both the new and existing garden areas.

The Luther Burbank School Orchard (an extension of the original garden) will continue to be maintained as well.