At Belvedere Elementary, fourth grade teacher Danielle Thiam and environmental educator Stacey Evers won a Keep Virginia Beautiful grant to fund a meditation garden.
Students in several grades are creating the garden, which will be a stress-free space requested by school counselors and a music teacher.
Students will be able to plant, tend, and enjoy the garden when experiencing stress any time. The first step was to paint the storm drain near the garden so the community can see that it drains directly to streams. The garden will include plants—mostly herbs—known to ease anxiety, such as pineapple sage (ancient Romans believed it was a sacred herb), lavender (soothing), oregano (rich in antioxidants), and creeping thyme (immune booster). Flowers will include but not be limited to coneflowers and bee balm (both anti-anxiety).
There will also be elements that provide musical sounds, such as wind chimes. School staff members are working with the Department of Facilities and Transportation Services to determine appropriate seating.