Volunteers enhance garden

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Leadership Jefferson County and West Metro Fire Rescue Training Center recruits came together to help Fletcher Miller School with its garden.

A group of recruits, sponsored and coordinated by Leadership Jefferson County (LJC), gathered on March 14 and 15 to build a shed for the school’s experimental and memorial garden.

“The work was part of the LJC’s 2013 class effort,” said Steve Aseltine, division director of training for West Metro. Aseltine is also a member of the LJC class. “Creating community gardens has been identified as a community need for this year’s class.”

During the two days, the 25 recruits worked around 10 hours total to build the 10-foot by 12-foot shed, which is designed for garden tools and equipment. All materials were funded by LJC.

The LJC is a West Chamber Foundation program that aims to develop leaders within Jeffco.

Projects are developed as part of the 10-month course that help participants improve their leadership skills, build community relationships, and learn how they can facilitate changes in Jeffco.

Fletcher Miller has been increasing its focus on what gardening can teach its students, with classes being taught at the Robert R. Brown Greenhouse that was constructed last spring.

Students who have sensory issues will benefit from having the plants to touch and experience, according to Julie Palmer, a physical therapist at the school.

“These students often need things that are more concrete, so they get a sense of different sensations through the feelings from their fingers,” she said. “The greenhouse offers a hands-on experience that a lot of kids won’t get from something on a piece of paper.”

Aseltine said that community gardens and creating something sustainable for the long term is one of the major projects for the class, and it will be working on similar projects until the end of the session in June.

“This is just an awesome project, and it’s great to have been able to help Fletcher Miller,” said Marta Murray, West Chamber Foundation executive director.

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