City of Norman partners with Oklahoma State University Extension Master Gardener Program to cultivate student garden

In a new collaboration, the City of Norman and the Oklahoma State University (OSU) Extension Master Gardener Program have established a vibrant and educational Recreation Center Garden for students at 12th Avenue Recreation Center, 1701 12th Avenue NE. This initiative, spearheaded by City of Norman Forester Colin Zink and OSU’s Cleveland County Extension Director Courtney Dekalb-Meyers, aims to bring the joys of gardening to children attending after-school and summer childcare programs.

The City of Norman’s Parks and Recreation Department has overseen the construction, provided the land and water resources, as well as procured plant materials. In partnership, the OSU Extension Office will manage the beds through volunteers from their esteemed Master Gardener program. These dedicated volunteers will handle various aspects such as deciding what to plant, when to harvest, implementing a watering schedule, and maintaining the gardens. The first planting day took place on March 22 during a Parks & Recreation Spring Break Camp.

“We are excited to know that this Recreation Center Garden will serve as an interactive teaching space, where Master Gardeners will engage with the children regularly, discussing plant growth, pollinators, and the intricacies of cultivating a successful garden,” Zink said.

This innovative partnership between the City of Norman and the OSU Extension Master Gardener Program exemplifies the power of community collaboration in fostering education, engagement and a deeper connection with the environment.

For more information, contact the Department of Parks & Recreation at 405-366-5479.