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Grantee Blog

A Garden Grows in Asbury Park

Project U.S.E. staff members, community partners, and students from Our Lady of Mount Carmel School in Asbury Park pitched in to transform unused empty backyard space at the school into a fruit and vegetable garden that will grow fresh produce.  The garden construction included five raised garden beds, container gardens, and benches for school members to sit and enjoy the new community green space.

The group included 30 students in grades 4 through 7 who assisted with filling the garden beds with soil and planting.  As part of creating the garden, students also worked with Project U.S.E. staff members Jen Reich and Emily Lavallee to learn about healthy eating habits and cover concepts like eating local seasonal food, how far food travels to reach their plates, and reducing or recycling food waste.  The students also learned about companion gardening and how to strategically plant crops that compliment each other; as an example they planted corn, beans, and squash together as the “three sisters.”

We look forward to continuing our work with the community at Our Lady of Mount Carmel School in the fall as we build out their school garden and also begin to incorporate a biking and walking program for students.

About the Grantee

Project U.S.E.

Project U.S.E. is an experiential education organization based in Newark, New Jersey with over 40 years of experience providing hands-on learning experiences for groups of all ages and backgrounds. Project U.S.E. provides diverse programming, including school and community gardening, professional development workshops, and outdoor education programs at our Wildcat Mountain Wilderness Center.