Open house events around the state this Saturday will showcase the value of a gardening program in schools. Several school systems across the state have educational gardens including Belfast and Ellsworth.

The Maine School Gardening Network’s Kat Coriell says there are many benefits to school gardens.

"Our goal is to see a school garden in every school in Maine. We think it's a really valuable addition to the curriculum and makes school really fun for the kids," Kat told me.  "Kids get really excited about it. And it teaches kids about health and about healthy food and environmental issues. And it gets them outside and active."

And, she says, organizers hope the open house events will encourage communities to get involved, as well.

"They do need support from the community to keep them going. They're labor-intensive and usually the teachers don't have time to keep them going so they do depend on volunteer labor and support from the community. We're hoping this event is a way to get that for them!'

She says any school or organization can start an educational garden and the MSGN will help them do it. For more information and a list of schools participating in the open house event this Saturday, log onto the Maine School Gardening Network's website.