Blithewold’s Junior Master Gardener Program

by David Dadekian
Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum

Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum

Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum begins a new session of their Junior Master Gardener Program on Saturday March 19 at 9 a.m. The program sounds like a wonderful opportunity for children in grades 3 – 5 to learn about planting and outdoor skills at one of the best public gardens in Rhode Island. From Blithewold’s news release:

Starting March 19th, children are invited to play in the dirt, have fun and learn all about flowers, birds and spring’s beginnings during Blithewold’s Junior Master Gardener program. Students will meet new friends, learn about gardening and nature, and build their leadership skills along the way. Children in grades 3-5 are able to participate. Students can earn a Golden Ray Badge and Backyard Buddy certificate by attending at least 5 sessions. The group will meet every Saturday for six weeks.

Blithewold’s Education Coordinator Julie Murphy and Master Gardener Instructor Laurel Curtis emailed Eat Drink RI lesson plans and activities including:

1. Building your own planet – observing the effects of pollution on a model of the earth
2. Garden Weather Station – creating weather instruments and monitoring weather conditions.
3. Planting additional bulbs in the children’s garden for summer/fall bloom.
4. Building gourd bird houses and planting gourds for harvest and drying in the fall (for building additional gourd bird houses!). Kids will start with an “end product”, plant seeds and can watch a “house” grow through out the summer.
5. Tree Community – learning observation methods for the variety of life supported by a single tree.
6. Debate – present a land or gardening issue to be discussed and “debated,” each individual making a case for their opinion. Good communication and problem solving.
7. Making recycled paper.
8. Grow Cards – using homemade recycled paper and seeds to make plantable greeting cards.

Saturday, March 19 to Saturday, April 23, 9 – 11 a.m. at Blithewold’s Carriage House. The $45 per student fee includes class supplies. For more information, contact Julie Murphy, Education Coordinator, at or (401)253-2707 x 16.

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