LINCOLN -- Lincoln Elementary School's Junior Master Gardeners Club honored Lincoln Police Department officers with dinner fresh from the school's outdoor classroom garden.

"Our students wanted to thank the police officers for all they do to serve our community," said Amanda Alderman, outdoor classroom coordinator and LES Junior Master Gardeners Club sponsor.

Alderman said LES received grant funding for the outdoor classroom from Coosa Valley Resource Conservation and Development, Legacy: Partners in Environmental Education and Lowe's Toolbox for Education, with additional funding from Colonial Motors of Talladega, Honda Manufacturing of Alabama, LES PTA and the Talladega County Education Foundation.

"The outdoor classroom design provides for a raised bed garden for each grade level," she said. "Each raised bed is based on a theme."

Alderman said students learn about plants and the five senses through the Sensory Garden. First grade students explore a Story Book Garden using literature such as The Tale of Peter Rabbit. Second grade students have a Pizza Garden. Third grade students have a Salsa Garden.

"In the coming year, fourth and fifth grade students will analyze the significance of plants in the life of famous Americans and historical events through the George Washington Carver and the Victory gardens," she said.

Alderman said surrounding areas include a Butterfly Garden and native Alabama landscap.

"We used the fruit and vegetables from the garden planted in May to honor the police officers," she said. "Our students helped by coming every other week to do maintenance on the garden."

Alderman said the dinner included a variety of items from the garden including salad and pizza toppings of tomato, cucumber, onion and more.

"We also had watermelon and cantaloupe from the garden," she said. "The whole school signed Thank You banners and made an iMovie about what students think police officers do and how to become an officer."

Alderman said the students plan to harvest sweet potatoes soon, as well as replant some of the gardens.

"Our outdoor classroom will bring acquisition of science knowledge, horticulture and ecology while also promoting learning experiences in reading, writing, data collection, health and history," she said. "The outdoor classroom is enriching the lives of students and is a unique learning resource for the entire community."

Contact Elsie Hodnett at