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Re: elementary school water experiment

Thanks for the pep talk, Laura. I'm an old hand at begging for resources for
school projects and I am quick to point out the donation to charity
confirmation letter! There is intense competition for donations of all types
in this very-large-by-any-standards school district. Even so, I'm collecting
a lot of plants and materials at cost and occasionally donated outright.
With a budget of $1,500 to build a 2,000 sf garden with a pond and desert
and plants, donations have already been factored into the plan.

I do need to work on that list of materials requested and thanks for that
reminder. Although this is a generally poor school, there is a small
contingent with deep pockets and I'm hoping to have families donate seeds,
extra garden plants, and garden tools for the kids to use. But, the needs
here are great, and these people get exhausted pretty quickly.

Meanwhile, the science teachers and principal have blessed the current plan
to stock with buckets of mud and plants and Mosquito Dunks, but no fish or
circulation. The pond shell and rocks for the desert wall will arrive at the
end of the first day of school tomorrow, construction and some planting
begins early Thursday with paid labor (not just me, for a change!).

Now I'm trying to find out how to get access to those ponds to get mud and
local water plants to stock the pond, since the nice neighborhood is gated
and hard to access. And I'm still wishing I knew better what sort of
emergent plants I can pull and plant 18" deep and have flourish. I have
water lily, I'll beg papyrus and lotus I hope. I think I saw some sort of
crypt on a golf course. I saw parrots feather in a ditch at a nursery that
donated to the tree project at this school.

Ann Viverette

> Date: Mon, 11 Aug 2003 14:39:12 -0400
> From: Laura Wichers <cellostix at wtw_waveform.net>
> Subject: Re: elementary school water experiment
> As Bill said, when you are working for a school (or any kind of
> for that matter), you have a much better chance of getting free/donated
> stuff.  I have done a considerable amount of work for non-profits and have
> found that when the cause is right, it is only a matter of patience on
> part to get what you need for free.  Start out with a list of *everything*
> you need, no matter how insignificant like twist ties or plastic milk
> jugs.  Organize the list according to which store or business would have
> which materials you need, so you can provide them with specific requests.
> Then go out and make your case with every business owner, contractor, and
> retailer in your area.  You have a lot of options in terms of how to ask,
> including cold calling, writing letters, and showing up in person.  IME
> showing up in person is always the best as people have trouble saying 'no'
> to a face.  Find out about whether donations are tax-deductible; that's a
> great incentive for many people.
> You might be able to have a much more expansive project than you expected
> if you can tap the right resources.
> Laura