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Something to crow about

The crows of Bethlehem will have to find another place to hang out now that the Garden Club has decorated the grounds of the middle school with dozens of scarecrows.

The club, in its first year, put up the scarecrows to decorate the grounds on the first day of fall, Tuesday, Sept. 22, and students said the event brought them together and gave them a great excuse to get outside.

It's really fun. It's just an activity to get out of the house and you get to make friends, said Ellie Dutcher, a sixth-grader at Bethlehem Middle School.

Linda Li, also a sixth-grader, said the scarecrows were going up simply "because it's fall," noting the school does not have a crow problem.

Mark Warford, assistant principal of BMS and primary organizer of the event, said he is a veteran of the scarecrow-building event and has been doing so for close to 16 years.

He said the materials " straw, twine and metal " are basic and environmentally friendly.

"It's a free-standing metal frame, that's very, very durable and reusable," he said.

Warford used to have students use wood frames, he said, but the metal is more durable and can be used over and over.

"It's a really great event," Warford said. "It's great to see kids and parents interested. There's a lot of green initiatives going on in the district."

Candy Dolen, a sixth grade science teacher, said the project is part of a larger initiative for the Garden Club, in which the students are working on a kitchen garden where the produce is harvested and used in cafeteria meals.

Warford said the Garden Club has been a great success so far, and has generated an abundance of produce that is being served in the cafeteria. Green beans and lettuce were the most recent results of the club's labors. Warford said next summer the club is hoping to expand its horizons and plant a greater variety of crops.""

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