BIS Grant: Peace Garden of Serendipity

Project Summary:
The benefits of a garden relate to the alleviation of stress and the abilities of the space to soothe, calm, and to rejuvenate one’s mental and emotional health. Scientists agree that gardening reduces stress, and calms the nerves. Gardening helps kids see themselves in a more positive light, and helps them to better handle any emotional and behavioral issues. The main role of the space is to provide a peaceful sanctuary, to allow for calm, as well as provide intimate spaces where students can be immersed in the scents, textures, and colors of plants, and related elements. The Peace Garden of Serendipity will provide a beautiful curb view for the senses.

BIS will partner with an agricultural class at Batesville High School to design and install the garden. Students will work with Mrs. Cassie Wallpe’s class at BHS, and Ms. Olivia Harms, BIS Art Teacher to create and enhance the garden space. The Garden of Serendipity Project allows BIS student gardeners to also partner with local garden suppliers, BIS Principal and the BCSC Building and Grounds Director. BCSC will help provide additional items we may need like fill dirt, pavers, etc. Most of the funds will be used for plants and garden items.

BIS students have had a growing interest in gardening since the vegetable garden has been in full growth. The Peace Garden of Serendipity is a wonderful opportunity to expand on our students’ love of gardening, provide diverse learning opportunities, develop stakeholder partnerships and ownership in learning. This project allows collaboration between students and staff while valuing the land and creating a beautiful “green space” area in the front of Batesville Intermediate School.

To provide a peaceful and inspiring green space for BIS students and staff, while furthering their knowledge of the land by creating a beautiful and calming setting.

Project Need:
The BIS Peace Garden will positively impact students and staff at BIS. Gardens can be simultaneously stimulating and relaxing, serving many functions such as teaching, socializing, and peaceful enjoyment. It will also give a beautiful front look to the school.

Project Timeline:
Once the design is completed and the budget set, planting of the Garden of Serendipity could begin in the spring and continue through the summer. The goal is to have the garden completed by the start of the 2016-17 school year.

Funding Sources:
Batesville Intermediate School will apply for the The Joan and John W. Hillenbrand VISION Fund for Innovation and work with Batesville Community School Corporation to supplement additional expenses.

Principal Comments:
The BIS outdoor garden has provided inspiration to create more green space at our school.. The Peace Garden of Serendipity adds another avenue for students to be engaged in a hands-on way to create and maintain an inspirational and peaceful space for all to enjoy. It would also add a beautiful curb view of Batesville Intermediate School at the front doors. Currently, there is just a flagpole at our main entrance.

Research supports gardens because:
Gardens can promote exercise. This is important because even mild exercise elevates mood. Gardens entice you to walk and to investigate.

Gardens can promote serenity and spiritual wellbeing. Being in nature and interacting with the natural world, brings a sense of peace, tranquility, and a feeling of being connected to something bigger than ourselves.

Gardens can encourage social interaction. Relationships promote better moods, and produces better treatment compliance. Gardens can encourage this interaction if they are easily accessible to families, and staff.

Gardens enhance a sense of control. We all need to feel that we have choices about what we can do. Gardens can enhance a sense of control if they offer a variety of spaces.

A Healing/Sensory Garden at BIS would be a wonderful addition to our science curriculum and for the well being of the school and the community.