This is the rooftop vegetable garden at the Gary Comer Youth Center in Chicago’s south side designed by Hoerr Schaudt landscape architects. It is part of a network of gardens run by the centre that they use as an outdoor laboratory ‘bridging classroom learning with real world applications’. They also run a catering program 'Seed to table’ using produce from the garden. The centre offers extra curricular support and a safe and positive environment for children who most need it.
It’s so great to see real commitment and money behind a project like this, with outdoor learning at it’s heart. Too many school and community gardens are an afterthought and have to make do with scraps of left over funding. This often leads to an understandably shabby aesthetic to the gardens, with few 'cues to care’, that can’t inspire or engage it’s potential users. The high-end design of this rooftop garden shows everybody that this garden is important.
Planting beans with Jenni Kayne in her front yard vegetable garden. Click the photo above to read more about Jenni’s garden in The Chalkboard Magazine and to get her list of favorite garden tools and accessories.
Just a few weeks ago we wrapped up our Community of Gardens collaboration with Paul International High School in Washington, D.C. and said goodbye to the teens for the summer. On a gray day the weather cooperated long enough for the students to finish implementing some of the projects they designed to improve the school garden and make it a more welcoming place for both students and staff. The old picnic tables were painted vibrant blue and signs were made to identify the plants in the garden for those not as in-the-know as Ms. Fiero’s Global Health class. Looking forward to seeing the garden continue to grow over the next year!
You probably wouldn’t expect to see this illustration on the asphalt at an inner-city school in Oakland, California. But it’s part of an inspiring garden program that has grown and flourished. You can read more about it here.