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Our Community Focus

PHIG’s Partnership with Pleasant Hill Middle School

Jul 31, 2016 07:30PM ● By Jennifer Neys

PHIG’s Partnership with Pleasant Hill Middle School

Last year the Focus reported on the collaboration between the Pleasant Hill Instructional Garden (PHIG) and Pleasant Hill Middle School on a composting program. Last fall, students at the middle school took their cafeteria’s kitchen scraps and twice weekly salad bar discards to the PHIG’s four bin composting system. Monika Olsen, teacher and master gardener at PHIG reported, “We have composted almost 500 pounds of cafeteria discards this past school year, which has been diverted from landfills, as part of the Green Team - Environmental Initiative for PH Schools.” The program also taught the middle school students about the environmental benefit of composting. “Natural processes like composting reduce the amount of the greenhouse gases, methane and carbon dioxide from landfills released in the air we breathe and which contribute to global warming,” Olsen added. 

PHIG is looking to continue the composting efforts this school year. However Olsen said the new partnership wasn’t without its challenges. She believes getting more kids and classes involved in composting and recycling will be key this year. “I think we need more individual school recognition to students for making a difference and we need more incentives, which may translate into donations to provide t-shirts, pizza parties, special events, or whatever may motivate students to help their school and their environment,” she said.

If you would like to help, you can email Monika Olson at: [email protected] You can also view the composting log on the Foundation for Pleasant Hill Education’s website at  

Visit the Garden or Join the Party!

The Pleasant Hill Instructional Garden (PHIG) is a water conservation demonstration garden. PHIG practices drip irrigation, low-flow overhead sprinkling, mulching, and other water saving measures.  The garden uses no pesticides and includes drought-tolerant and native plantings. It is also a certified wildlife habitat with the National Wildlife Federation.

The next garden work party is on August 7 from 9:30am-12noon. Several volunteer activities will take place: composting, pruning, weeding, planting, creating seasonal wildlife habitat and improving garden beds. Email your RSVP at [email protected] You can visit the PHIG website at The garden is located at Pleasant Hill Education Center, 1 Santa Barbara Road, at the end of the street, next to Pleasant Hill Middle School.