Spotlights
200 Pinewood Elementary Students to help build a “green wall” at Maryland State Fairgrounds
06/09/2015

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Approximately 200 Pinewood Elementary School students will help plant a “green wall” on the exterior of the Farm & Garden Building during the Growing Together at the Maryland State Fairgrounds event, Wednesday, June 10, beginning at 10 a.m., at the Miller Mosner Building. This activity for students in Grades 2, 3 and 4 is part of the inaugural MY Maryland State Fair Seed, Soil and Students Program.

A green wall, also known as a living wall or vertical garden, is a wall covered with vegetation.  In addition to serving as living art, living walls are said to help insulate buildings, clean air of pollutants, and serve as habitats for birds and beneficial insects.

“This event is the culmination of our inaugural agriculture education program partnership between the Maryland State Fair and Pinewood Elementary School that began on National Agriculture Day,” said Robert Fogle, director of agricultural education programs for the Maryland State Fair.  “Our hope is for the students to grow in their knowledge of agriculture and its relationship to their everyday lives as well as provide a natural way to help beautify the fairgrounds.”

The Seed, Soil and Students program started on National Agriculture Day, March 18, when Maryland State Fair staff visited Pinewood Elementary School and taught 700 students – in Kindergarten through Grade 5—  how to plant seeds that would ultimately be used to create a green wall at the fairgrounds.

The students nurtured the plants in their classrooms until Earth Day when Maryland State Fair staff returned to check on the progress and to provide a lesson about soil types, soil nutrition and which soils work best for optimal growth of a variety of plants and crops.

At the Growing Together at the Maryland State Fairgrounds event on June 10, Pinewood students in Grades 2, 3 and 4 will rotate through four agriculture education stations:

  1. Transplantation Lesson– Students will learn how to transplant their plants in to a recycled plastic milk jug and then place them in the Green Wall planter racks on the Farm & Garden Building.  
  2. STEAM Mosaic Animal Mask Design Project – As a part of the Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math program, students will design farm animal masks using seeds. “In this case, the ‘A’ will also stand for agriculture,” added Fogle.  “The students will take their masks with them, with instructions on how to bring them back and enter them in the Maryland State Fair Home Arts Department Crafts Division.
  3. June is Dairy Month Demonstration - June is Dairy Month. Maryland Dairy Princess Autumn Lippy will teach students about dairy products and provide a hands-on demonstration.
  4. Popcorn and Field Corn Lesson – Farmer Stan Dabkowski will teach the difference between popcorn and field corn and will demonstrate how kettle corn is made.

In addition, the Pinewood students will visit the Baltimore County Farmers Market at the Maryland State Fairgrounds where they will be given “Fair Bucks” to purchase an apple from a vendor.  Students, teachers and chaperones will also be treated to lunch, much of which will be Maryland products, among them fresh local Maryland strawberry shortcakes.

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