Lakewood bee

A bee carrying pollen lands on a plant in Lakewood Elementary's pollinator garden, which is tended by the school's Outdoor Inquiry class. Saturday's Earth Day Festival will take place in the courtyard and gardens of the school. 

Lakewood Elementary School’s Earth Day Festival will be held Saturday at the school from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., according to the school’s inquiry teacher Marie Valentine.

The school is located at 1675 Highway 396, off of Prestwick Club Drive in Myrtle Beach.

While some vendors will be inside the school, most of the Festival will take place in the school’s courtyard, which houses their student-tended gardens.

More than 1,000 people attended last year, Valentine said.

The festival is open to the public, and will include food trucks as well as other vendors and demonstrations.

The Blackwater Beekeepers will be there with a live demonstration and bee observation equipment, and other master gardeners from Clemson Extension of Horry County will be on hand to help attendees plant different plants. Baby chicks will also be available for adoption.

Even more vendors have contacted her this year, including Target, whose officials want to promote using less plastic, and Lowe’s Foods will be there to promote healthy eating.

Representatives from the Waccamaw Market Cooperative will be there with fresh produce.

The Coastal Waccamaw Stormwater Education Consortium will be on hand, as well as SODA (Stop Offshore Drilling in the Atlantic).

Other local vendors will be on hand, including Kona Ice, that will be giving part of its proceeds back to the school.

Lakewood Elementary’s chorus and steel band will be performing throughout the day, and, Valentine said, another local school has students coming to help kids with fun Earth Day games and crafts as well. Even some crafty students will be setting up their own booths, selling their wares, including handbags made from recycled materials.

Valentine’s Outdoor Inquiry class became an actual class in Lakewood’s class rotation just over a year ago.

In this special class, students learn how to plant and cultivate vegetables and herbs, what is involved in a chicken’s life cycle, how bees make honey, the importance of recycling and composting and a host of other important lessons about the environment and sustainability.

The school has 12 raised gardens, which grow a variety of vegetable plants, as well as lavender, stevia, pineapple sage, marjoram, lemongrass and mint.

The Outdoor Inquiry class materials are paid for through grants and fundraisers, including selling the produce that the students grow, as well as by donations from the community.

Vendors for the Earth Day Festival are still being accepted, and those interested can email Valentine at marietine80@yahoo.com

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