Thank you, Duke Energy Foundation!

Resharing this article written by Sabrina Kapp.  


Marvin Blade and Dawn Harvey-Horth represented Duke Energy and the Duke Energy Foundation, when making the donation to the Plainfield School Board.

Imagine students having their own garden to tend, where they learn about the science of planting, botany, weather and seasons. And when they harvest their prized fruits and vegetables, they learn about nutrition and how to care for, and prepare the food.

Thanks to the Duke Energy Foundation, The Imagination Lab will include specially designed raised bed gardens for an outdoor learning space. Their generous gift of $25,000 will cover everything needed to physically create the garden, along with planting kits and an extensive curriculum for elementary students.

This rendering illustrates the design and structure of the outdoor learning gardens, set to open with The Imagination Lab, in August 2018.

As you can see here, the outdoor learning space will fill the area on the south end of The Imagination Lab, where the preschool playground was once housed. Working in conjunction with The Kitchen Community, students will benefit from a well-researched, tested and successful program already in place in several U.S. cities.

Preparations are underway, converting this space from a preschool playground to an outdoor learning space for the new Imagination Lab.

“The generosity of our friends at Duke Energy, and the Duke Energy Foundation, has allowed us to take our dreams for The Imagination Lab to even higher levels,” stated Scott Olinger, superintendent of Plainfield Schools. “Our vision for the ways students learn and experience life will now extend to the outdoors, and we think that is a wonderful gift,” he added.

The outdoor learning space will feature raised bed gardens for a variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables, and will include three planting seasons each year. Students will not only learn about the science of growing plants, but also the nutritional value of their resulting produce. They’ll also study food prep and cooking as part of the curriculum.

So while the construction work continues on the inside, we are thrilled to share the news of great things to come on the outside. And again, we say a great big THANK YOU to the Duke Energy Foundation.

PS: If you're not already following The Imagination Lab on social media, you might be missing out on some interesting and timely updates! Find us on Facebook, @PCSCImaginationLab, and on Twitter, @QuakersImagine.