A dinner and auction at Bonny Eagle Middle School will raise money for a school greenhouse to provide food and educational opportunities to students.

Rippling Waters Farm will host the event on Tuesday, April 14, from 6-8 p.m. to raise funds for the construction and initial programming of the greenhouse.

The solar greenhouse, which has already been partially constructed, will be a site for students to produce fresh organic food for their school’s lunch program, in addition to receiving lessons related to their curriculum. Students may write an ancient form of Japanese verse while learning how to evict Japanese beetles from their crops. The goal is to enhance education by providing an environment that fosters critical thinking and responsibility while getting dirty and having fun.

Rippling Waters Farm recently received a $5,000 grant from the Virginia Hodgkins Somers Foundation to help pay the estimated $16,000 in start-up programming costs for the greenhouse. The remainder of this cost will be covered by Rippling Waters.

The dinner, provided by Bon Appetit of Saint Joseph’s College, and performances by the middle school jazz band and chorus will begin at 6 p.m. The gala will also feature greenhouse tours and a silent and live auction.

Items up for bid include gift certificates from local businesses, a weekend at a Sugarloaf condominium, a birthday splash party and climbing wall access for 20 at Saint Joseph’s College, installation of a custom square-foot garden and art and karate lessons.

The greenhouse at the middle school is part of the wider initiative, Saco Valley Food Connections, a project to improve the agricultural infrastructure, food security and health within communities. Food that is not incorporated into the lunch program will be donated to local food pantries.

Tickets are $7 for adults and $4 for students and are limited. They can be purchased from Sydney Tyson by calling 642-5161 or sending an email to [email protected] For more information, visit www.ripplingwaters.org.

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