The Central High School Student Council developed and is responsible for the on-going maintenance of the CHS Community Garden. The garden serves as a community service opportunity that is open to all CHS students, and enables them to gain credit pursuant to their community service graduation requirement. After planting the garden in the spring, the students water and weed the garden throughout the summer, before harvesting the crops in September. All crops harvested from the garden are donated to the Safe Place Food Pantry located in Corinth, Maine.
In September of 2016, the Student Council’s proposal for the Community Garden was approved by the RSU 64 Board of Directors. The following spring, the council began constructing three, wooden raised garden beds. The beds measure 14 x 12 feet and are in the shapes of the letters C, H, S. Soil was added to the beds in May, and the council planted beets, string beans and carrots. By the end of its first year, the garden had supplied more than 20 pounds of vegetables to the food pantry.
In an effort to increase the harvest, the council prepped the soil with manure and lime in April of 2018. Similarly, to prevent animals from eating the crops, the council surrounded the garden with a fence in May of that year. These additions enabled the council to donate more than 150 pounds of carrots (100 pounds), squash (38 pounds) and turnips (18 pounds) to the food pantry by the end of the 2018 growing season. In addition, 10 CHS students have gained a combined 26 hours of community service through their involvement with the garden in its first two years.