July 19, 2013
A Case Study in Cultivating Community Gardens
Students at Rosa Parks Elementary School in the San Diego, California can enjoy the benefits of a community garden right on their school’s campus. The school is located in the City Heights neighborhood where residents are predominately Latino, African-American and Southeast Asian, and 54.5 percent of families earn incomes below the federal poverty level.
The school’s principal worked with the San Diego School District and other partners to identify and designate a piece of land as an educational garden. Students from the Cesar Chavez Service Learning Club generated a plan for a garden and gained community support for the proposal. The students designed the garden to include compost and flowerbeds; a birdbath and feeder for natural insect control; and planting beds to grow vegetables and herbs consistent with the diets and customs of the diverse neighborhood population. The students also coordinated a school farmer’s market where harvests can be distributed to students and families.
Teachers at Rosa Parks Elementary School use the school’s community garden to take students outside the classroom and offer interactive instruction on health and nutrition, science, mathematics, ecology and agriculture.
Funding for the garden came in the form of grants and support from the San Diego Women’s Foundation and Scripps Mercy Hospital. One-time capital expenses and operational maintenance during non-school hours were and are covered by the school.
For more information
Visit the Rosa Parks Community Garden Website
Rosa Parks Elementary