In the spring of 1995 Bunny Goodwin, community member and Master Gardener volunteer, started the composting program at Keene Central School. Composting begins in the school cafeteria and ends in the bountiful harvest of flowers and vegetables from the school gardens.

The composting program prevents valuable organic waste from ending up in the landfill, provides a unique educational opportunity for the students and nourishes and amends the soil in the school gardens.

After each meal, students, faculty and staff sort their tray waste into containers. The waste is then transported to the school compost bins. Organic matter and water is added as necessary.

The final product is used in the gardens and is available for school classroom learning activities.

(Photos through the years of the KCS Composting Program!)

Case Study: Cornell Waste Management Institute


The Keene Central School gardens are integrated into the educational curriculum to teach children about plants, nature, and the environment. In addition, the school’s organic vegetable garden provides produce for the cafeteria.

A raised garden bed can be seen from the window of each elementary school classroom. These gardens primarily contain flowers and plants that the children have planted and are designed to attract a variety of butterflies, birds and insects. Just beyond the raised beds is a large vegetable garden which students help plant in the spring.

The first salad is served for lunch in June. When students return to school in September, they harvest the produce which is used in preparing school lunches. KCS receives generous donations of seedlings, plants, soil amendments and supplies.

Students involved in the Garden Club, run by Bunny G and Jessica W, are screening school compost then putting it on the
garlic in the garden as mulch.
  The students help plant and harvest and will EAT & ENJOY at lunch!!

KCS Garden Club 2013