Students prepare for show and tell during garden tours

Students in Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse and Leelanau counties will celebrate the inaugural School Garden week starting June 2.

Schools across northern Michigan are preparing to take part in School Garden Week.

Students in Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse and Leelanau counties will celebrate the inaugural School Garden week starting June 2.

The purpose is to draw attention to the diversity of school-based gardening projects. The public is invited to take part in the garden tours and learn more about school gardne projects, take part in gardening activities and meet the staff behind the programs.

"We want to create a buzz around school gardens," said Michele Worden, one of two new Farm to School educators working with the Michigan Land Use Institute. "We hope that teachers and parents will visit other school gardens and gain inspiration to take back to their own school communities."

Each school is hosting its own unique day with support from the Farm to School and FoodCorps team based out of MLUI.

School gardens are exciting resources for students and teachers-whether as an outdoor science classroom, a hands-on space to learn about healthy food choices, or a source of fresh produce for the school lunch. No two gardens are alike; they range from indoor hydroponic garden systems to large outdoor hoop houses.

Participating schools include: Suttons Bay Schools, Northport Public School, Leland Public School, and Leelanau Children's Center in Leelanau County at both the Northport and Leland locations; Platte River Elementary in partnership with Grow Benzie in Benzie County; Central Lake Public School in partnership with ISLAND and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in Antrim County; and Interlochen Elementary School, Traverse Heights Elementary School, Central Grade School, The Greenspire School, and the Children's Garden at the Traverse Area District Library in Grand Traverse County.

The Central Grade School Youth and Community Garden Planting Party will kick off School Garden Week on Sunday from 3-6pm. The school community recently broke ground on its garden and needs help planting, weeding, and fundraising for 12 new raised garden beds.

The garden tour schedule:

Sunday, June 2Central Grade Elementary Garden Concert, 3-6pm

Monday, June 3Platte River Elementary, 3-5:30pmNorthport Public School, 3:15-5:30pmLeelanau Children's Center, Northport location, 3:30-5:30pm

Tuesday, June 4Leland Public School 3:30-5pmSuttons Bay Public School & Leelanau Montessori, 3:30-5:30pmLeelanau Children's Center, Leland location, 3:30-5:30pm

Wednesday, June 5Interlochen Elementary, 4-6pmCentral Lake Elementary, 11:30am-1:30pm

Thursday, June 6Traverse Heights Elementary, 3-5:30pmGrand Traverse Area Children's Garden, 3:30 - 5pmThe Greenspire School, 3:30 - 5pm