Community Gardens are making a scene in the United States. They are definitely making an appearance in Elk County. Local’ Motion, a community group located in Saint Marys, has been taking the lead and partnering with local faith based organizations, such as Grace Episcopal Church and First United Methodist Church, to establish community gardens in both Ridgway and Saint Marys with these churches. Local’ Motion is looking to better the community and provide improvement for food insecurity by educating people about how to grow food.
Local’ Motion has recently partnered with Queen of the World elementary school to embed a school garden curriculum to teach students from grades Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 5 about agriculture. They are elated to have this opportunity and to have gardening a part of their curriculum. As a resource, Queen of the World, Local’ Motion, and I are in the beginning stages of these students’ education. Since, we are starting this program in late summer/early fall, these students will be growing their plants in container gardens. When spring rolls around, they will be establishing raised beds for, hopefully, each grade to grow a crop of their choice. These students will be given the opportunity to have agriculture in every section of their education.
We want to teach these students all about agriculture and how it is important to know how to grow food. Although, building students self esteem by teaching this is one of the most important things. Seeing a child beam from growing something—well, it is one of the most delightful thing to see. I’m so excited to be a part of something to help the environment, relieving food insecurity and, best of all, to educate kids about gardening for the future.