Urban Gardens
INITIATIVE NAME Urban Gardens
UNIVERSITY Wesleyan University
TAGS sustainable agriculture | urban gardens | community development | youth enrichment
CONTACT Jaxie Friedman <jefriedman@wesleyan.edu>
WEBSITES




SUMMARY
This group organizes a Garden and Nutrition Club for students K-12 in a local elementary school. Our club aims to teach kids about the importance of working with nature, eating healthy food, fosters gardening skills and knowledge about how plants grow. We also have developed an urban garden in Middletown in which we try to foster community development., increase access to healthy foods, and stress the importance of sustainability work.


IMPACT
Development of an urban garden in Middletown as well as production of a variety of community gardening programs. Continuous efforts educating elementary students about nutrition and the importance of environmental awareness.


PROCEDURE
Partnership with Macdonough Elementary School--the strong dedication of Amy Waterman, the school's Family Resource Coordinator, and our club member's efforts has enabled continual project success. MUG members develop lesson plans in advance and then we implement them as a collective.


MISTAKES & LESSONS LEARNED
Sometimes you have to limit the number of students in order to ensure group cohesion and that all students get the attention they need. Our garden club is limited to 20-25 students K-5 and we try to have as many volunteer teachers as possible (usually 3-7 student and faculty teachers each class). Also, after a long day of school, it is always good to let the kids run around and blow off some steam so incorporating in active games that teach gardening lessons can be really useful such as garden tag or vegetable red light/green light.


FUTURE PLANS
We are hoping to expand our garden club to working with other local schools as well and are in the process of coordinating a second weekly club with another elementary school.