Greenhouse Helps Bentonville School Build Community

April 10, 2024

BENTONVILLE, ARK. – Last summer a greenhouse was built on the campus of Bentonville Seventh-day Adventist School (BSAS). The school is now taking full advantage of this new addition. 

The school administration purchased the Adventist agriculture curriculum to use with every age group of students. Every week, each student has a class period with the curriculum to learn about growing and maintaining plants. Students have grown seedlings, learned to preserve seeds over the winter, learned what plants need to survive and even grown food that was used in the school’s hot lunch program.

The students in grades 1-8 are growing seedlings for a local community garden, Helping Hands, which the Bentonville Seventh-day Adventist Church sponsors. The garden staff give the school a list of plants needed and how many they would like. The students then create a plan and timeline for growing. They grew more than 600 plants for their fall garden before starting work on a spring garden. 

Not only do the students grow the plants in the greenhouse, they also volunteer and work in the community garden. Last year the community garden harvested more than 4,000 pounds of produce that was given away to those in need. Students are collaborating with community partners to give away their plants.

Grades 5-8 are also working with the Illinois River Watershed Partnership and Arkansas Game and Fish to help restore riparian zones on properties to the area. They will be growing specific native wildflowers requested by these groups. This class has already helped plant more than 500 trees next to a creek bank. The class is looking forward to more projects with these groups.

The school has a mission statement that says, “BSAS is dedicated to the preparation of young people for the unselfish service to God, their community and humanity.” This greenhouse is allowing the school to not only educate young people academically, but also give them skills to serve others in their community. It has allowed the school to create bridges with community groups as well as bring in volunteers to work side by side with our students. The students and teachers can’t wait to see what other opportunities await the school with their greenhouse experience.

By Renee Otts
Principal and Teacher