Dale Mabry Campus News
HCC Child Development Center Nature's Classroom Enhancement Project: SIFE Wins Award from Lowe’s
Young participant supporting the cause
During the months of March and April, SIFE, Students in Free Enterprise, partnered with the DaleMabry Child Development Center to work on the K4 Nature’s Classroom Educational Outdoor Play Area through a grant awarded from Lowe’s. SIFE students and their sponsors applied for the competitive grant and coordinated the project.

The plants were arranged and planted by the students, staff, and some of the children from the Child Development Center and were arranged in sets and patterns to help the students learn patterning, similar/different, types of leaf structures, colors, counting by two’s, basic plant care, etc. The existing drip system was adjusted to water the new plants. After watering the plants, the shed and waterfall were installed. On April 30th, the Lowe's employees, College officials, students, and SIFE Team members were invited to an open house at the CDC.

The children and other attendees enjoyed the event, although work-related requirements prevented the Lowe's employees from attending as planned. In addition, a banner thanking Lowe's hangs on the CDC fence to let all know about the contribution Lowe's has made to the beautification and education of our future leaders, the children of the CDC. Together with student volunteers planted 84 plants, installed a waterfall, assembled a storage building, provided 10 sets of student gardening gloves and shovels.

The vibrant colors, the native plants installed in groupings and patterns, the life-like animal statues (teaching the difference between mammals, reptiles, birds), the bird feeders (that attract songbirds of all colors and vocal ranges), flowering plants (that attract butterflies), and the gardening implements are to be used in planting herb and flower gardens (to teach the plant life cycle). Now, the children of the CDC have an aesthetically pleasing environment where they can explore nature and apply learning basics (math, phonics, spelling, biology, and other subjects). In addition, many of the students live in apartments and do not have the opportunity to experience the joy of growing a garden. Now, they have that opportunity to do so and their parents can learn along with them.

"This project was a great success. The HCC students really put there all into the implementation. They worked well together and even allowed the CDC students to help them plant the new plants. It was a great intergenerational experience.” - Linda Tarrago, SIFE Advisor

Article written by: Dale Mabry Staff