Owen-Ames-Kimball donates garden boxes, tables, benches and soil to Harns Marsh Elementary

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Florida Construction News staff writer

South Florida general contractor Owen-Ames-Kimball Company (O-A-K) recently built and donated 22 garden boxes, two tables, benches, and soil to Harns Marsh Elementary in Lehigh Acres for their school garden.  Students will grow a variety of herbs, vegetables, and flowers.

“Our philosophy is based on choosing what is right, a can-do attitude, a personal sense of responsibility, and valuing others,” says Matthew Zwack, president of O-A-K Florida. “Bill and Jordan exemplified these tenets in giving back to the community.”

The cedar boxes, tables, and benches were built by O-A-K’s assistant superintendent, Bill Lisiewski and Jordan Fike, O-A-K’s superintendent, helped deliver and install the boxes.

“O-A-K’s generosity is greatly appreciated,” Shedlock said. Our entire garden was rebuilt after an initial request for some potting soil.”

O-A-K’s Florida operation is an affiliate of its parent company located in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  The Florida operation has offices in Collier and Lee counties.  The Lee County office is at 11941 Fairway Lakes Drive in Fort Myers.

Harns Marsh assistant manager of Food and Nutrition Services Teresa Shedlock is planning to complete the garden by August.  “School gardens have so many benefits,” Shedlock said.

“Children’s attitudes and behaviors about food can be changed for the better.  They are more likely to eat vegetables they have grown and share their preferences with others.  This is a place for children to get outside, learn about the natural world, and experience new concepts through experiential learning.”

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