Amidst a few oohs and aahs, Katie Palazzola’s 5th graders at Tibbott Elementary School in Bolingbrook recently became foster parents for a group of red wiggler worms that will eventually provide compost for seedlings for the school’s edible garden.
The worms and materials for the compost were delivered in a “worm bin” by Wyn Hyzer, an environmental educator for the Will County Land Use Department.
“These worms are the easiest classroom pet you’ll ever have,” she told the students. “They’ll create compost, which is a good, rich dirt, the kind of dirt you want to put in a garden.”
Hyzer gave the class a head start by including peet moss and shredded newspapers in the “worm bin.”
“This is a big, dirty mess,” she said as she showed the mixture and the worms to the students. “But that’s where the worms like to live.”
The students will feed the worms such things as apple cores, banana peels, watermelon rinds and the like. The waste created by the worms will enrich the compost and enable the students to plant fruit and vegetable seeds in cups that will eventually be transplanted into the outdoor school garden.
This is not the first Tibbott class to use worms to create compost. Last year Will County officials brought a “worm bin” to David Mertes’ 5th graders. The bin has been put to good use ever since.