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Megan Horan
Co-Vice President:
Melissa Chanselle-Hary
Co-Vice President:
Sarah Peters
Michelle Urban
PTO Board Liaison:
Amanda Baldwin
Kristy Orenstein



Help Lower Elementary reach their $9,000 goal to complete a year-round greenhouse to teach students botany through hands on experience.

“The lower elementary greenhouse project came about to make sure students in grades one, two and three had an enclosed, safe place to learn botany by raising fish and growing organic vegetables,” said Nicole Commons, teacher of the Candelaria Classroom. “The idea started with our third grade students who wanted to learn how to grow food sustainably and counsciously. To kickstart the project the students approached the High Desert Montessori School Parent Teacher Organization (PTO). The PTO loved the idea and got the project started.”

Nicole and her husband Hans began building the greenhouse in their driveway. Over the summer the greenhouse skeleton was moved to an area just outside the HDMS lower elementary classroom. Once on site, the greenhouse foundation and six aquaponic tanks were installed.

The next step is to raise $9,000 to complete the project. Plumbing and irrigation for the aquaponic tanks needs to be purchased and installed. Double walled polycarbonate sheathing, flooring, a pump, volcanic gravel and pots, seed, fish and soil also need to be purchased. The final stage of the project will install computer sensors, and automatic pond feeder and a thermal dampening system.

“At High Desert Montessori School we are teaching our students ecoliteracy, to learn the skills of the future and to learn different ways to grow organic food sustainably and consciously through hands on gardening. The lower elementary greenhouse will help make this vision a reality.” Nicely put Nicole! And thank you for your dedication to ecoliteracy for all age groups.

To help the students finish the lower elementary greenhouse, please donate at the button above. Every little bit helps.