Building a School Garden with EnrichLA
We’ll building or improving a school garden at one of EnrichLA’s 100+ locations! This will be a day outdoors doing physical labor, so please be ready to get your hands dirty!
VIDEO BY MARY KENNY
Growing up in rural Pennsylvania, gardening was a very frequent part of my summer family activities. For a kid, getting your hands dirty and bringing something to life is not only fruitful (literally), but also a valuable learning opportunity about hard work, patience, and results. Upon learning about EnrichLA, I quickly connected on a personable level to their mission. EnrichLA has a simple mission of having a functional garden in every school. This mission, although brief and direct, covers a mountain of benefits for the kids who attend the school. I was personally drawn to this project not only because of my nostalgia for gardening, but also because of my passion for helping kids learn and flourish.
The first part of our event was a fundraiser. We set out a goal of raising $500 for EnrichLA and had an added incentive of placing painted rocks with donor’s names into the garden for every $20 someone donated. The response from our donors was amazingly positive, and we raised over $700! Overall we ended up with 19 rocks placed into the garden.
The other half of our event was the day of service. Volunteering with EnrichLa is a bit more labor intensive than many other events as it involves a 5 hour work day outside doing manual labor. Luckily, our very cheery and hard working volunteers were all smiles throughout the day. Aside from discussing our mutual love for helping the community, many volunteers were thoroughly invested in discussing a shared interest in themed hotels, restaurants, and bars. We even had a small but mighty volunteer, who definitely wins the award for most weeds pulled.
After the day was finished we were all sweaty, dirty, and tired. However, after looking at all of the work that was accomplished, I cannot describe how great it felt. It isn’t often that you get to literally see the fruits of your labor, but this volunteer day had a very clear transformation.
As for myself, this particular day brought me back to when I was a kid, digging in the dirt and planting seeds. The childish wonder of seeing life flourishing in your hands was flowing all around. I can only hope that we passed that feeling onto the kids at the school who get to learn and grow with the garden each day.
To organize your own Gardening Day contact EnrichLA via their site: enrichla.org/volunteer
Contributed by Jeff Maloney, designer/artisan.
You can find Jeff on instagram
ABOUT FRIENDS OF THE LA RIVER
ENRICHLA is an environmental non-profit focused on adding edible school gardens to Los Angeles-area public schools. School gardens are inexpensive, promote community involvement, encourage respect for our delicate planet, act as outdoor classrooms, cheer up school campuses, help students build a good work ethic, and promote thoughtful and healthy eating habits. More info at enrichla.org