On March 21 and 22, over 40 community members and dozens of students pitched in to create a school garden for Randle Highlands Elementary. With the help of City Blossoms, the DC Department of General Services, and ECO City Farms, students and teachers collaborated on the design of the garden that includes a compost bin for nutrient rich soil and planter boxes for growing healthy fruits and vegetables. DGS provided the compost bin and ECO City Farms trained 13 staff members to maintain it. The garden will serve as an outdoor classroom where students will learn about food sustainability and participate in an after-school garden club.
Randle Highlands Elementary School Garden was made possible through a grant from OSSE’s School Garden Program. This year’s School Garden Grant helped fund the garden as well as 21 other traditional public and public charter school gardens across the District. Over $300,000 in grant funds will be awarded to the schools to build their own green spaces, in which students will learn about new foods and the benefits of locally grown produce.
About the School Garden Program
OSSE’s School Garden Program team assists schools in building and maintaining school gardens and provides training and technical assistance to teachers in utilizing school gardens as a teaching tool. The School Garden Program also oversees the administration of the DC School Garden Grant, assists schools in applying for the US Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Award, and assists in the planning and implementation of District-wide events such as Growing Healthy Schools Week and Strawberries and Salad Greens Day.
About City Blossoms
City Blossoms is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to working with schools, neighborhood groups, community centers and other organizations to create spaces for children to use their creativity and combined strength and skills to learn how to grow and maintain fantastic yet functioning gardens.
About DC Department of General Services (DGS): Healthy Schools Program
Under the Healthy Schools Act of 2010, DGS is responsible for a variety of activities designed to ensure that schools are healthy, safe places to learn. These include programs on recycling and composting, energy reduction, drinking water testing, indoor air quality, and integrated pest management.
About ECO City Farms
ECO City Farms is an educational, non-profit organization located in Prince George’s County, Maryland designed to serve as a prototype for sustainable local urban farming.