It Takes Guts to Fight Obesity
The Accelerated Schools Garden began in the spring of 2003 with a committee of teachers and parents interested in adding green space to their urban school. In Fall 2004, the accelerated school broke ground with students and volunteers on the site of a former parking lot across the street from the school. Since then, parents, students and community members have dedicated the last Saturday of the month to help maintain and harvest the fruits and vegetables of the garden to be taken home and eaten for free. The community we serve consists of predominantly Latino and African American families and teachers of The Accelerated School. Our garden has also been used for horticulture and nutrition workshops for parents, and community members while it serves as a site where high school youth volunteer and simultaneously learn about themselves and the environment they live in while helping make the garden grow.
Our garden has the potential for expansion. The youth of The Accelerated School, other nearby schools and parents have dedicated numerous hours preparing the land while dreaming up creative designs for the far-east end of the garden. With your resources we would develop the far-east side of the garden and the parameters into organic garden beds. This would provide more space to extend participation from the communities we serve.
The expansion would include
- A greenhouse for students to plant seeds and witness the germination process
- An herb garden that would serve to facilitate discussions around healthy eating
- A native plant garden that would bring wildlife to our community and countless lessons
- A space for class sessions suitable to withstand weathering and protection from rain and hot sun rays
Finally, our long-term goal is to establish a free after school & summer program. Nature’s Path funding would provide the resources to maintain staff of a Garden Coordinator and Educator. We would use funding to provide instructors with an honorarium and money for supplies. The classes would aim to teach our youth and parents an aspect of gardening, horticulture, permaculture and nurture a long-lasting a connection with nature. s
While our search for funding will continue, Nature’s Path funding would go directly into making a corner of a blighted community into a colorful vibrant active learning garden!