Growing Starts Here
Fishers Elementary celebrates hydroponic garden, healthy living
Writer & Photographer / Josh Brown
Last summer, Fishers City Councilmen Todd Zimmerman and Eric Moeller provided seed money to the Hamilton Southeastern Schools Foundation to fund a service learning project that would be a hands-on learning opportunity for students. The project selected was “Growing Starts Here” — a hydroponic garden concept.
This summer, that “seed” officially sprouted.
Fishers Elementary School recently hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the first project award. Faculty and students packed the gymnasium to see the unveiling of the school’s first hydroponic garden. The concept was developed by Denise Jarrett, Teresa Miller and Lori Fox of Fishers Elementary School with the idea of teaching the children the importance of a healthy lifestyle and caring for the plants.
Soon, the students at Fishers Elementary will be able to pluck fresh fruits or vegetables off their hydroponic garden, providing sustainable and healthy food options right in front of them. The idea was heavily supported by principal Brian Sloan, and Zimmerman and Moeller are happy to see the project come to fruition.
“I grew up on a farm, but not everyone has that experience and background to understand how that all works,” Moeller says. “While this is a little bit different, it is still the same educational experience of soil, water and light and promoting healthy living and food, which is great for these kids.”
The Growing Starts Here project is just one of what Zimmerman and Moeller hope to be many more hands-on projects to come in the future as the fund they helped jump-start continues to grow with more financial backing.
“We were led to the idea of teacher grants because you are impacting students year after year, versus just one student with scholarships,” Moeller says. “That is how we generated this idea and the fund.”
“What is great about this is its driven by the teachers and empowering them with their ideas,” Zimmerman adds. “Our hope is that this catapults other people to give to the fund so that we can expand these projects. There are opportunities in all Fishers schools to have teachers with these great ideas that can really change their classroom and community through different projects that they have in their hearts. We are really excited about people seeing this and getting behind this fund. We want to empower those that know directly where those opportunities are for learning and growth.”