Bridgeway gnomes spark school garden activities
Bridgeway gnomes spark school garden activities
Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Some new members of the Bridgeway Elementary school family are leaving their mark for all to see - when no one is looking. Six Bridgeway garden gnomes showed up shortly after the school’s Paintbrushes and Shovels Garden Club put up a sign at the school entrance that reads “Please do not feed the gnome.”

Periodically, the gnomes appear in different places in front of the school, and students and staff enjoy looking for them when they come to school each day. The garden gnomes have created inspirational chalk drawings on the sidewalk near the front entrance to remind Bridgeway students, staff and families how amazing they are. Once, they were “caught on camera” creating the artwork and the school shared the video on its Facebook page.

“They've never been seen in action before, so they were really scared the day they got ‘caught’ on camera,” said Jeanne Fernandez, Bridgeway reading specialist who sponsors the student garden club. “They are friendly gnomes that come from Gnome-man's Land, and they have made Bridgeway their new home. Who knows what fun things they might do next? We're happy they are here.”

The gnome invasion is just part of a variety of activities and improvements taking place at the school’s front entrance. Bridgeway is creating a sensory garden near the front walk. The student garden club created wind chimes to add sound to the garden and painted friendly garden bug rocks to add more visual appeal. These items are in addition to the student art that art teacher Mollie Ahlers and her students created last year in art classes and placed near the entrance. Future plans include adding more student art around the garden and updating and adding more raised planter beds.  

“We started seeds indoors in the last club session and will transfer them outdoors in late April,” Fernandez said. Additionally, the school's garden committee will install an outdoor library and refinish benches and picnic tables in the area. 

The garden committee is also hosting its family first garden event from 6 to 7:30 p.m., Thursday, May 9. During Stepping Into the Garden: Family Painting Night, families are invited to paint stepping stones and garden rocks to add to the sprouting garden. The event includes a photo booth, raffle items and refreshments. The gnomes overcame their shyness and helped make a commercial for this event.

“The Bridgeway garden gnomes are excited to see their new home coming to life and even more excited to see the community enjoying it,” Fernandez said.

The updates to the garden were partially funded by a grant from the Pattonville Education Foundation.

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The Bridgeway garden gnomes are shown in a video clip fleeing the scene after they are caught on camera creating inspirational chalk drawings.

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The garden gnomes are shown in a video clip advertising an upcoming family garden event.