Garden Spotlight: Spence Elementary


Thank you to our sponsors who make educational programming and maintenance possible at Harry Spence Elementary School.  The following programming and garden updates would not be possible without the following support:

Compost Bins

A vertical compost system has been added at Spence Elementary to model composting for the students. This beautiful area was made possible thanks to Spence garden teacher, Kristy DuChateau, and her husband Chad. She said that there needed to be an actual area created to put garden compost and with a few pallets and stakes, he was able to construct what we needed. Due to the size of the garden, there is a lot to compost. Things such as dead plants, decaying food, and leftover food from garden lessons are added to the compost pit weekly.

New vertical compost system installed by Chad DuChateau

Shed Mural Project

The garden storage shed at Spence got a new artistic flare with a mural that was painted above the doors and on the side of the shed.   Students were able to participate in painting the mural during parent/teacher conferences this past week. This is a great opportunity to connect the natural world with the artistic one!

Spence Elementary schoolwide art project led by the art teacher, Ronnah Metz



Fall is wrapping up and so are our veggie wrap and recess lessons. They have been such a success and the feedback has been so positive! Here are some quotes from the students:

Third graders:  “Can we make this again?” and “Garden lessons are my favorite!”

Fourth Grader:  “Let’s make these as a classroom snack with everyone bringing something different to put in it!”  The teacher responded saying he would bring some hummus.

Parent of a first grader:  “When I asked him about the highlight of his day, he said it was time in the garden.”

Though we are sad to see this fun lesson come to an end, we are prepping for another exciting lesson regarding how to save seeds through the winter.

Do you love fast, easy, healthy meals that are FUN to make? So do we! Be on the lookout for a recipe demo card being sent home with your child soon that includes this veggie wrap recipe.

Lettuce wrap made by a student during a Grow La Crosse taste test.


  • Romaine lettuce (can also use Swiss Chard or Kale)
  • Cucumbers; chopped or cut into strips
  • Tomatoes; chopped
  • Carrots; chopped, coined, or shredded
  • Bell peppers; chopped
  • Avocado; sliced or spread
  • Optional: Condiments like cream cheese, hummus, lemon juice, salt and pepper or protein like chicken, turkey, egg salad, or tuna

1) Rinse and chop all the vegetables on a cutting board. Keep them separated to make it easy for everyone to individualize their ingredients.
2) Lay your piece of lettuce on a plate and add a condiment base layer
3) Choose your desired veggies and lay them on the lettuce leaf the long way.
4) Top with any spices or dressings you want and fold the lettuce in half the long way, creating a “boat.”
5) Enjoy your colorful creation with your family!

The best part about this recipe is that the ingredients are up to you.  Don’t be afraid to get creative!