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Community Garden, Public School Partnerships

  • Subject: [cg] Community Garden, Public School Partnerships
  • From: Adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Sat, 23 Apr 2005 22:20:13 EDT

Good point - Some community gardens have been reaching out to their local 
schools in order to make educational partnerships. It requires that the community 
garden has insurance, garden members that can assist and open the facilities 
when the classes arrive, enough diverse,  and interesting plantings and most 
importantly, garden insurance. 

At the Clinton Community Garden, we have three local public schools and two 
parochial Catholic schools that have teachers with keys to the garden.  Usually 
it's a nature walk for the older students, drawing and photography classes, 
with one middle school using our garden for plant identification and outdoor 
biology classes in the late spring. 

My favorite is a kindergarten class from one of the public schools that 
raises butterflies from pupae and caterpillars in their classroom and then has a 
ceremony to free the butterflies during the spring.  And the Clinton Community 
Garden has a children's bed, run by their mothers for young children. 

However, this is a community garden reaching out and sharing with a local 
school.  But the business of running a school garden is hard, because of NYC 
Department of Education funding, issues with custodians in maintaining school 
gardens during the summer, and getting teacher buy-in.  I have found it works 
better when schools have relationships with local community gardens for trips, 
visits and the occasional class. 

I do believe that these kinds of partnerships, which require effort on behalf 
of the gardens leads, immeasurablility to their survivability - it's another 
documentable way of proving the utility of a community garden to the community 
surrounding it. 

Best wishes, 
Adam Honigman
Clinton Community Garden

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