Elkton, May 24, 2023 — Elementary school students attending the Boys and Girls Clubs of Harford and Cecil Counties aftercare program at the Elkton Community Center were not only immersed in a captivating gardening project but also experienced the delight of a surprise visitor—a calf joining their gardening lesson.
The project, which initially started as a simple seed planting lesson in early April, transformed into a two-month-long weekly program filled with exploration and knowledge-sharing. Through the generous support of guest experts from the community, the children embarked on an inspiring journey of discovery. “The children are so wonderful and eager to learn,” shared Yvonne Settle, one of the presenters and a pollinator plant gardener.
The students eagerly constructed germination pots using paper towel and toilet paper tubes, planting an array of four different bean varieties, corn, and snap peas. They were introduced to the essential role of pollinators and pollinator plants and were given the opportunity to plant milkweed seeds, contributing to the preservation of these vital species.
As the seedlings germinated and flourished, home gardener Lois Drake provided valuable insights into plant growth and care, offering tips on designing potted gardens and small garden plots. The children transplanted their bean seedlings into larger pots, ready to take them home and continue their nurturing. In tire gardens at the Elkton Community Center, the corn and snap peas found their new homes, with dedicated volunteers lending a helping hand in the digging and placement of donated tires, soil, and wood chips.
Curiosity sparked among the children when one of them pondered the origin of fertile soil. This led to an extraordinary visit by farmer Bill Kilby, accompanied by a playful calf. The children had the rare opportunity to feed the calf with a calf-sized bottle, witnessing firsthand how the cow’s food transforms into valuable manure and natural fertilizer. “It’s the hands-on lessons where the kids learn to appreciate how things work that stay with them,” shared Mr. Kilby, highlighting the profound impact of experiential learning.
Liz Dubravcic, President of the Cecil County Democrat Club, expressed her joy in working with the young participants, remarking on their enthusiasm and eagerness to explore the world of nature and gardening. She extended her heartfelt gratitude to all the presenters, behind-the-scenes volunteers, and the Elkton Community Center and Boys and Girls Club of Harford and Cecil Counties for their unwavering support in facilitating this educational endeavor.
In a heartwarming ceremony held on May 24, the Cecil County Democrat Club proudly presented a check of $750 to the Boys and Girls Club of Harford and Cecil Counties. This remarkable contribution was the culmination of a successful bake sale organized by CCDC volunteers, who devoted their time and baking skills to raise funds for the Boys and Girls Club Summer Camp Campaign. The CCDC further enhanced the donation with an additional contribution.
The check presentation took place at the Elkton Community Center, where Liz Dubravcic expressed her gratitude to CCDC members, aftercare program parents, and volunteers who wholeheartedly supported the bake sale at the Scottish Games. The exceptional promotional efforts of Maryann Othello were recognized as a key factor in the bake sale’s resounding success.
The CCDC’s commitment to strengthening the community in Cecil County was evident throughout this impactful project. By collaborating with the Boys and Girls Club and fostering a love for nature and gardening among the next generation, the CCDC demonstrated its dedication to creating a brighter future for the community as a whole.