Jack London CDS Peace Garden
The Peace Garden at Jack London Community Day School is just 8 months old. We grow organic crops in raised beds on our asphalt, parking lot campus. While our emphasis is on edibles, we also have ornamental and native plants to attract insects for pollination and natural pest management. Our campus is a long, thin strip of a larger school’s parking lot (100 yd x 20 yd) where 6 bungalows are placed. The garden encompasses all the outdoor spaces of our small, alternative, secondary school for high-risk youth. In January, TreePeople will cut the asphalt and donate 20 fruit trees to create a small, urban orchard.
Our garden reflects our students. As a “community day school” we educate students who’ve been expelled, are at high-risk, or been referred by probation to catch-up on credits and develop social skills to enable them to return to traditional schools. It is a community that struggles to overcome obstacles, as does our garden. For students, the experience of working together in the garden and forming a unified community is instrumental in building a more harmonious atmosphere on our campus, which transfers into the classroom and plays an important role in keeping our high-risk youth from drifting further into trouble.
Our goals for the Peace Garden are: To provide a hands-on classroom for students in our Plant & Soil Science Career Pathway and to instruct students in horticultural practices; To build 21st century skills through cooperative gardening practices and to teach students to be socially responsible citizens; To develop students’ naturalist intelligence; To beautify our school and provide shade for our campus; To create a demonstration garden for families by growing edibles in repurposed containers, at little or no cost; To foster community spirit by building bridges among students, staff, families, local businesses, and organizations.
KGI is a nonprofit community of over 30,000 people who are growing some of our own food and helping others to do the same.
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Kitchen Gardeners International
3 Powderhorn Drive,
Scarborough, ME, 04074, USA