We often receive questions about having fences around school gardens. Most often teachers or parents ask us about fence because there is a concern for playing kids trampling plants or disturbing irrigation systems or a concern for vandals causing some damage to the garden. These are quite legitimate concerns but there are also some good reasons why a fence in a school garden may be a bad idea.
Sometimes a fenced in garden can seem like a good idea.
Here is a school we did that even had a fence on top.
The top fence can be a good idea to keep out critters,
but it’d make more sense to put some chicken wire over
Fences aren’t always a bad idea. Low fences to help indicate where it is appropriate to play or not play can be helpful to gardens.
High fences can even work if you have the right kind of dedication to your garden. Sometimes high fences are needed to keep out the wild bouncing balls. (Sometimes even a high fence can’t keep the occasional ball out as I experienced at Briggs.)
Fences don’t always need to be chain link though, a simple short wood fence to create a boundary also does the trick. If you have a theme a fence that relates to the theme can be used as well. For our grants, if you can provide the labor in volunteers, we can provide the materials and expertise.
This afternoon I’ll be visiting with Redeemer to discuss fencing around their vegetable bed area. They’d like to create a sense of a boundary to remind folks to try to avoid playing in the area. Everyone agrees a low fence is the way to go, we’ll just need to decide how low we want to go and what kind of look they want to go with.