A Knoxville elementary school is celebrating the opening of a learning garden Tuesday

Spring Hill Elementary is one of four schools that received a “Learning Garden Grant” this year from Ingles Markets and Dole.

The program provides a garden area for students to participate in hands-on lessons and learn in a unique environment. Topics range from nutrition and science to social studies, math and language arts.

Spring Hill Elementary Principal Denise Cross tells us the opportunity is unlike any other.

“Because our school is more of an urban school, many of our students don’t have the opportunity to garden and be outdoors in a beautiful space like this and so it’s so important that we provide that for them here,” Cross said. “To see the excitement and wonder on their faces as they were cutting those leaves and discovering that there’s red leaf lettuce as well as green leaf lettuce and those kinds of things I mean, again, it’s just a wonderful learning opportunity.”

This is the second year of the community outreach initiative. Ingles has donated more than 18 million dollars to local schools through its Tools for Schools program.