Wilcox’s Junior Gardeners learning the ropes

Wilcox’s Junior Gardeners learning the ropes

The Westerly Sun

Gardening. It can be summed up in a flood of various adjectives; soul-cleansing, beneficial, frustrating…etc. For most green thumbs these are adjectives we can all commiserate with.

One particular adjective that comes to mind that’s synonymous with gardening is hopefulness. Hopeful that what you started from a tiny seed in February grows into a luscious trail of green beans. Hopeful that the bulbs you planted in the fall didn’t find their way into the belly of a hungry little squirrel. However, the hopefulness that is to be mentioned in this article has a bit of a twist.

Hopefulness for the future; the future of youth and gardening.

The Westerly Library Children’s room and Wilcox Park has spent the past few weeks hosting some bright botanophiles out in the greenhouse. They are a group of children, 9-13 years of age, who are pioneering the first Wilcox Junior Gardener Club. The club was an idea of Park Superintendant Alan Peck and children’s room associate, Robin Weir. In conjunction with the 4H Club of Rhode Island, we aim to bring more awareness to children in the realm of planting and botany.

During both the Stonington and Westerly schools’ spring vacations, the children learned the process of starting several types of flower and vegetable seeds, in addition to learning how to propagate plants from boxwood cuttings. In just a few sessions of having these children together, the amount of interest that they had was wildly apparent!

At 10 years old, they were postulating on their own as to why plants seemed to be growing so well in the greenhouse and concluding that it must be all the oxygen being produced from the other plants. One child was caught talking about extinct plants, something he had researched in his own spare time!

A total of nine bright children have instilled some hope that future generations do have interest in the important ‘stuff’ and not just the best game for the iPad or the newest Beiber scandal. We aim to be as accessible as possible so that any kid with an interest has a free, public opportunity to get their hands dirty and learn as much as they want. It’s a goal of the club to find these interested little ‘seeds of knowledge’ and harvest them into future stewards of the earth.

Look for the club at the Garden Market Fair, Sunday, May 18th. Club members will be there to tell of their experiences and share more about the 4H Club of Rhode Island. If you have any questions about the Wilcox Junior Gardener’s Club, please contact Robin Weir in the Westerly Library Children’s Room for more information.

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TUESDAY—1 p.m., our Tuesday movie! This week’s selection is “Saving Mr. Banks” (Rated PG-13, 2013, 125 minutes)-- Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson bring to life the untold true story about the origins of one of the most treasured Disney classics of all time. John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side) directs this acclaimed film that reveals the surprising backstory behind the making of Mary Poppins.

TUESDAY EVENING—6 p.m., our weekly Chess Club gathers! All experience levels are welcome; 6 p.m., Meditation Workshop—anyone interested in learning more about meditation, even if you are a beginner, is welcome!

WEDNESDAY—Art opening in our Hoxie Gallery! This month’s exhibit features work from the Hera Gallery in South Kingstown.

Robin Weir is a Children’s Room and Circulation Associate at the Westerly Public Library.


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