Child Development Center Garden and Greenhouse Teaches Children About Gardening

Posted: October 1, 2010 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: October 1, 2010 at 7:58 am

By Aisha Jamil

Volunteers from throughout the university have built the garden at the Child Development Center. Dan Waxman, project manager for Auxiliary Enterprises, is at far left, and Dorothea Tyree, lead teacher and garden operations manager, is at far right, standing. Photo courtesy of Dan Waxman

Mason has gone green — again.

Along with various faculty, student and community volunteers, Dan Waxman, project manager of Auxiliary Enterprises, has organized the Child Development Center Garden and Greenhouse.

This garden, which serves as a place for learning and exploration for the university community, was established with the help of a service-learning grant from the American Forest Foundation’s GreenWorks! program, as well as some funding by Mason’s Office of Diversity Programs and Services.

The Child Development Center, located on the Fairfax Campus, is a licensed preschool for children age 2-5. The center currently enrolls 120 children.

“As the garden grows, we hope that people involved will gain an appreciation for the natural world and also for where their food comes from,” Waxman says. “College service learners, children, the Child Development Center staff and the Child Development Center parents are all involved in helping the garden become a flourishing success.”

The garden will be used to teach children how to apply nutrition concepts to one’s personal lifestyle and how to show appreciation for food, animals and nature. Children will get to learn about where food comes from and how it is grown, as well as the mechanics of soil and composting.

The Child Development Center garden. Photo courtesy of Dan Waxman

Dorothea Tyree, a lead teacher with the Child Development Center and garden operations manager, coordinates the program as a volunteer.

“The reason behind this program is to teach the children about nature and how things grow. We talk about topics such as healthy eating and give them a chance to learn about responsibility,” Tyree says. “We advocate going green, and, therefore, we do not use any pesticides.”

The Child Development Center Garden donates a portion of its fruits and vegetables to the Lamb Center, a nonprofit organization that provides meals to the homeless.

For more information about the Child Development Center Garden and Greenhouse project, contact Dan Waxman at

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