2009-04-03 / Community

RWA Explores New Gardening Ideas

Latoya showcasing her dream design. Latoya showcasing her dream design. Environmentors explored new ideas of gardening and growing food locally in the Environmentor After School program.

RWA Environmental Justice Educator, Lemanja Brown, led students in a series of activities to help students design their own gardens while learning of the numerous benefits and the power that comes with being able to sustainably grow food.

Students began by exploring the concept of the distance that foods travel to get from a farm to their plates. "Okay - now I want you to find Mexico on your maps," instructed Ms. Brown. "Many of our vegetables and fruits, such as tomatoes, come all the way from Mexico because they have a warm climate there although it might be winter here." Students were amazed as they circled the country on their printed maps while noticing and commenting on the incredible journey of the most basic foods.

One Environmentor, Latoya, ex-

plained how her grandmother even had a garden back in her home of the Dominican Republic. "I loved to go in the backyard and pick guava in the summer - she even had chickens!" Unfortunately, for many students in Rockaway and New York, there are limited spaces to practice the ancient skill of gardening and to enjoy such experiences.

Environmentor working hard on a garden design. Environmentor working hard on a garden design. However, that idea may change soon for Environmentors who created intricate design plans for gardens in the hopes of starting their own projects in the near future. The beautifully created student garden designs will be incorporated into future plans for gardens that are started with Rockaway Waterfront Alliance throughout the peninsula.

Student displaying an innovative fountain. Student displaying an innovative fountain.

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