When O. J. Kern became superintendent of the Winnebago County Schools in 1898, he brought new ideas and methods concerning the education of the “country child.” He considered clean and beautiful school grounds the first step towards a better education and stated that “trees and flowers are the needed additions to our course of study, not Geometry, Algebra or Latin”. He also believed that school gardens acted as an outdoor classroom where instruction in agriculture and botany could take place. In 1905 he initiated the Winnebago County Farmer Boys’ Experiment Club and the Girl’s Home Culture Club in cooperation with the Agricultural College in Urbana. This was the forerunner of the 4-H program in Illinois.
This garden can be found behind the Old Stone School.