Spring is almost here, which means our School Grounds and Production teams are busy building new school gardens!
Here at City Green, we believe school gardens are powerful tools that provide children with the opportunity to learn new skills, try new fruits and vegetables, and foster deep connections with the natural world. By spending time in a garden, children are able to enhance their motor skills, learn how to work in a team, and develop a sense of responsibility.
Building new school gardens can begin as early as December for our School Grounds and Production teams. After a school reaches out to us, we meet with teachers, administrators and other members of the school community. Our team works with the school to create a plan with elements to best fit the school’s needs. School administrators and teachers are on-boarded with our Gardening 101 training where we discuss the garden goal, teach basic gardening skills, and share best practices for teaching in a garden. Then we construct and install the garden, and by early spring, a new school garden has been created!
This season our Production team will build 13 new school gardens for students in Belleville, Clifton, Cresskill, Montclair, Paterson, and South Amboy. As School Grounds partners, these schools will get new raised beds, seed kits, planting supplies, teacher trainings, School Grounds curriculum, and ongoing support.
This week we are installing school gardens at Greater Bergen Community Action’s Michaels Energy Factory Head Start and Westside Head Start in Paterson. Check out our Instagram and TikTok for a behind the scenes look at the GCBA Westside Head Start build. A USDA Farm to Preschool partner, GCBA Westside Head Start now has a brand new school garden!
We are so excited to work with another Greater Bergen Community Action school in Paterson,” City Green’s School Grounds Manager Emma Latham shared. “City Green has worked with GBCA Head Starts for many years, not just with school gardening-- but also with food sourcing! Their nutrition team regularly purchases local produce from our farm and uses these seasonal vegetables like squash and beets for student taste tests. Preschoolers at all of GBCA’s Paterson locations will now have the opportunity to grow vegetables in their own school garden.”
Want to learn more about our new school gardens? Follow along on Instagram and TikTok to see how a garden bed gets made and delivered to a school. If you have any questions for our School Grounds team, leave a comment down below and we’ll be happy to get back to you!
City Green is a 501(c)3 urban farming and gardening organization based in Clifton, New Jersey working to foster connections between communities, agriculture, and the environment. For more information about City Green, visit www.citygreenonline.org.