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City of Rochester

Flower City Kids Cultivate Rochester

June 4, 2010 Planting Day

Who are the Flower City Kids?

The Flower City Kids are the pre-K and elementary school students in the city's public and private schools that since 1986 have started nearly 200,000 plants in their classrooms and planted them in Ontario Beach Park and in other places around the city. With their teachers' help, they've learned more than just how seeds grow--they've also learned about the importance of plants in our lives. See this year's brochure

What is the history of the Flower City Kids Program?

The program started as a partnership between the Rochester Telephone Pioneers (a volunteer group of active and retired communications workers) and the City's School 35. The program has included many groups over the years, including Rochester Roots and the Center for Educational Development. It is currently organized by Frontier Pioneers, the Rochester Landscape Technicians, and the City of Rochester.

How do I get involved? What's the process?

In late February of each year, all city public and private school principals or school coordinators will receive registration forms and information/instructions for that year's Flower City Kids program. Therefore, the principal and/or school coordinator will be the best contacts about participation. Generally, the process is as follows: 

Early February: registration/order forms mailed to schools

March/April: registration/order deadline

Early April: delivery of seeds, soils, and instructions to schools

April: classroom planting

Early June: outside planting of seedlings; planting and picnic event at Ontario Beach Park

Help at any point in this process is always available from the City's Bureau of Recreation and Youth Services (585-428-6770 or 585-428-8820 for the City Horticulturist). The City Horticulturist would be pleased to visit schools for a short training on planting and cultivating the seedlings.

See this year's brochure

Gardening at Campbell St. Community Center.Is there a lesson plan to follow?

Anything goes! There is no one lesson plan and projects differ in each classroom. Plants flourish on the windowsill and under fluorescent lights, or some find home in a milk or egg carton, or other containers. In spring, many classes plant their seedlings in the Flower City Kids Garden during the annual Planting and Picnic event, but just as many plant them in gardens in school courtyards, elsewhere in the neighborhood and community, or take them home for their yard.

Is there a cost?

No! Not only is it free to participate--project partners and volunteers package and deliver all seeds/soil orders! 

Want more details?

For more information on Flower City Kids, contact City Horticulturist Michael Warren Thomas at 585-428-8820, or at thomasmi@cityofrochester.gov.  Or, download this year's brochure.


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