The G.H. Reid Elementary School Garden grows healthy food, healthier kids, and a more cohesive community.
It’s a zero-input (no outside water, no outside fertilizer waste goods) urban garden that produces tons of organic fruits and vegetables, and serves as a hub for environmental and urban agricultural education for the school and community.
In 2010, we partnered with the Richmond Behavioral Health Authority (RBHA) and Richmond Parks and Recreation to revitalize an underutilized 2,000 sq. ft. hoop house at the school—but the project grew into something more.
With the help of landscape architect Nicholas Jancaitis, Renew constructed a system that includes raised box beds, a spiral butterfly garden and an outdoor classroom.
But there was something missing…We needed a team of strong, smart and dependable growers.
So we created the “Reid Green Team”, an amazing group of 4th and 5th graders who participate in educational activities that help make the garden grow.
With the help of Shalom Farms hosting farm stands, the garden has become a centerpiece for the community, where residents help tend to the garden, beautify their neighborhood, and learn sustainable agriculture practices that can be replicated in their own homes and apartment complexes.
After a change of leadership at the school, the garden and our program were put on hold. But now that everyone is settled, we’re happy to say that we’ve prepped all the spaces and are ready to go for the next growing season!
The G.H. Reid Elementary Garden Is:
–Zero-input—no outside water, no outside fertilizer except for natural compost-able waste goods
–Highly productive—produces tons of organic fruits and veggies
–Utilizes an extensive rainwater catch system and composting operation
–A modular system replicable on any scale—even an apartment balcony
The Reid Green Team Program Includes:
–Lessons on garden-based curriculum
–Garden activities related to science and environmental awareness
–Hosting farm stands to teach business principles, demonstrate the economic value of healthy foods, and open doors to urban agriculture as a career
It Teaches kids About:
–Nutrition and the environment
–Self-efficacy and self-sufficiency
–Better, productive and fun uses of free time as an alternative to negative, risk-taking behaviors