Originally posted by the Spring Observer here.
Through the upcoming Kids March Across Texas event, Dan Shields, owner of Dan’s Hardware Country, hopes more people will use natural products to implement a fresh approach to growing gardens and flowers.
Shields invites upwards of 300 elementary-age kids and their families to plant Texas indigenous wildflowers using natural products at the event, which starts at Mercer Arboretum and Botanic Gardens at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 27.
In preparation, Shields mowed and graded an acre strip of land on an undeveloped area facing Aldine Westfield Road near Mercer.
“We are going to go out and ceremoniously cast out the seed much like John Appleseed,” Shields said. “Then, the children can watch the progress over the next few weeks and the community will have a bouquet of beautiful wildflowers to look at. And they are perennial so they should come back every year.”
Mark Smith of Earth’s Outlet, the company that is supplying the fertilizer, will be on hand to show the child safety and appeal of organic fertilizer. Activities are anticipated to include entertainment and refreshments.
Bearing the same name as the event, this is Kids March Across Texas’ first beautification project, which will be followed by other seasonal similar horticultural endeavors like growing gardens.
“I hope to help 15 churches grow gardens, and the fruits and vegetables grown can go into their food pantry,” Shields said. “They can give the food to the needy and we know everything they receive will be totally nutritious and organic.”
Shields explained that Kids March Across Texas is the beginning of a community movement that he would like to see extended from county to county.
In the future, he hopes to help area schools form clubs where speakers can teach the kids how to grow healthy food. Shields would also love for schools to adopt an ecology curriculum.
“Ecology is a broad subject, but the first thing the kids can learn is how to grow and harvest a plant,” Shields said. “It will give them an idea of how the cycle of life works.”
As a hardware store owner, Shields said he sells some of the harmful products that he would like to see phased out, but he simply supplies what people want, something he hopes will change soon.
“As a grassroots movement we can change the mindset of the gardener, the landscaper and the retailer,” Shields said. “Organic food has always had a high price tag but we can offset that by growing about $1,100 of food in our own back yards.”
For more information, call 281-415-8588. To register, call Mercer at 281-443-8731.
KIDS MARCH ACROSS TEXAS
WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 27, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
WHERE: Begins at Mercer Arboretum and Botanic Gardens, 22306 Aldine Westfield Road,
HOW MUCH: free