The lessons of school gardens
As co-chair of the D.C. Schoolyard Greening Committee, I was thrilled to see the school gardens program receive such prominent coverage in The Post [“School gardens revisited in D.C.,” Arts & Living, Jan. 12]. But the article failed to mention perhaps the most important piece of the local school garden puzzle: the newly enacted D.C. Healthy Schools Act.
While reporter Adrian Higgins criticized organizations for neglecting to focus on the realities of garden maintenance in favor of “lobbying, fundraising and forming committees,” this groundbreaking legislation — a direct result of said activities — solves many of the problems voiced in the article.
Specifically, the act provided direct staffing support, organizational partnerships and monetary assistance to maintain current gardens and to create new gardens at schools across the District. In less than five months, this citywide initiative has become a national model for other municipalities seeking to improve the health and academic performance of their student populations.
With these resources now taking shape, the stage is set to ensure the long-term sustainability of the District’s school garden program and the numerous benefits it affords all students.
The writer is the Green Schools Coordinator at Earth Day Network and was part of the effort to create and pass the D.C. Healthy Schools Act.
Joshua M. Volinsky, Washington
| January 18, 2011; 4:24 PM ET
Categories: D.C., HotTopic, education, schools
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