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Turning Asphalt Into Edible Education

Gardeners in the Edible Schoolyard at Public School 216 in Brooklyn. Photograph by Ruby Washington.

There are 285 school gardens in New York City

By Sharon Otterman
New York Times
October 19, 2010


There are already 285 school gardens in New York City, according to a recent state survey, part of a national school gardening trend. Most are small affairs, completely reliant on parent volunteers and teachers’ spare time, said Erica Keberle of Grow NYC, which coordinates school gardening projects around the city.

The P.S. 216 project, known as an Edible Schoolyard, is part of a second generation of gardens, which involve things like state-of-the art greenhouses, professional staff, large city grants, and ever-more-ambitious agendas.

Ms. Waters’s project, for example, aims to find a solution to childhood obesity by integrating the lessons of food growing, food preparation and healthy eating through the curriculum. A recent study found that her projects in Berkeley had made headway toward that goal.

Edible Schoolyard New York will have four full-time staff members at P.S. 216 to manage the garden, develop cooking and teaching tie-ins, and start smaller gardens at 25 more Brooklyn schools. The $400,000 annual cost will come from the organization’s fund-raising, said John Lyons, the organization’s chief executive officer, who first got to know P.S. 216 seven years ago when he was principal-for-a-day there.

Read the complete article here.