School Gardens Aid National Green Movement

May 07, 2008 03:07 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
by Sarah Amandolare
Student-run school gardens are growing in popularity, providing environmental benefits and encouraging students to lead healthier lives.

30-Second Summary

The Samuel J. Green Charter School in New Orleans is just one of many schools across the country implementing garden programs that allow students to harvest fruits and vegetables for cafeteria meals.

The concept of school gardens is nothing new. German educator Friedrich Frobel, who coined the term “kindergarten” in 1840, “saw school as both a metaphoric garden for children and a place for them to learn about nature in planted gardens,” according to the Associated Press.

Today, chef, restaurateur and food activist Alice Waters is a leader in the school garden movement.

Waters’ Chez Panisse Foundation started both The Edible Schoolyard in Berkeley, Calif., and the garden program at Green Charter School in New Orleans. Similar programs are slated for Santa Fe, Los Angeles, Greensboro, S.C., and Pittsburgh.

According to the AP, Waters says the most crucial element of school garden programs is helping students gain “reverence for the food they eat.”

Gardens also offer a soothing respite from the classroom, especially for schools recovering from Hurricane Katrina. “I thought it'd be a great therapeutic tool,” said Green Charter Principal Tony Recasner.

The garden at northern California’s Michelson School focuses on nutrition, encouraging parental involvement in growing and preparing the harvest in an effort to replace processed, frozen cafeteria food.

Other schools, such as Barnard Environmental Magnet School in New Haven, Conn., have created gardens as part of a larger campaign to promote eco-friendly lifestyles. Barnard not only follows an environmental curriculum, but is also powered by solar panels.

Headline Links: School gardens sprouting up

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Reference: School garden resources


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