A Flourishing School Community Garden
At Bergen County Technical Schools, our Community Garden construction is finally complete. The seven raised garden beds, paved pathways that can accommodate wheelchair access, and two separate seating/outdoor classroom areas are being utilized by students ,faculty, and staff members. Over the summer, faculty members will tend vegetable and herb gardens for our culinary students and harvest fresh vegetables from their own designated gardens for healthy lunch choices. This is especially helpful in a location that does not offer healthy food choices within walking distance from our campus. For our special needs students attending summer programs, the themes of nature and healthy food will combine experiences in the garden with classroom readings and activities.
Our focus on employee health kicks off this summer in the garden (weather permitting) with presentations on viewing food and exercise as medicine, and an introduction to meditation.
The process of creating our community garden has shown us how essential truly committed participants are to a successful and ongoing project. We were so fortunate to have a Bergen Tech landscape instructor who used the garden construction as a real-life project for his students, who designed and built the raised beds and walkways after researching accessibility requirements. These high school students did a fantastic job with the help of a dedicated teacher. In fact, the garden was so much admired by another community organization that they have worked with our school district to arrange for the teacher and his students to work on their new community garden space.
We are really excited about the classes we have scheduled to begin in schoolyear 2018-19, including beginner yoga, chair yoga, and tai chi. But that is a blog post for another day.
About the Grantee
Bergen County Technical Schools is a receiving district for students residing throughout Bergen County. The district comprises four high school campuses, an adult continuing education division, and a day care center. Our sister district, Bergen County Special Services, educates special needs students ages 3-21 as well as provides training and support services for adult clients.
Cohort: North 4
Funder: New Jersey Department of Health