Mayor Michelle Wu announced the construction of 10 new raised-bed classrooms in the park

Today, Mayor Michelle Wu joined Superintendent Mary Skipper, Housing Chair Sheila Dillon, and Boston Public Schools (BPS) students and staff to celebrate the launch of 10 new raised bed garden programs at various BPS schools across the city. Additionally, they celebrated the grand opening of a new outdoor classroom at Boston Green Academy. All new raised gardens and outdoor classrooms have received funding from Grow Boston: Office of Urban Agriculture, located within the Mayor’s Office of Housing. This initiative is also part of Mayor Wu’s initiative “Connect, learn, explore” Commitment, to the goal of growing a family-friendly Boston where every child has the opportunity to thrive. The partnership between the Mayor’s Office of Housing: Office of Urban Agriculture’s GrowBoston program and Boston Public Schools’ (BPS) Sustainability, Energy and Environment Program is specifically designed to enhance students’ experiential learning experiences while enhancing sustainability education.

“Boston Green Academy’s new outdoor classroom and community garden is more than just a place to grow plants — it’s a transformative and empowering learning environment,” he said. Mayor Michelle Wu. “This space will help plant seeds of environmental knowledge, expertise, and community among our students, and I am grateful to GrowBoston, BPS, and Green City Growers for their partnership in bringing Green New Deal education to our youth.”

The following schools have been selected for new GrowBoston-funded school garden programs:

  1. Mather Elementary School (Dorchester)
  2. Winship Primary School (Brighton)
  3. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School, K-8 (Dorchester)
  4. Clapp Primary School (Dorchester)
  5. Lee Academy (Dorchester)
  6. Channing Primary School (Hyde Park)
  7. Tobin School K-8 (Roxbury)
  8. Dudley Street Neighborhood Charter School (Roxbury)
  9. Ellison Parks Early Learning School (Mattapan)
  10. Roosevelt School K-8 (Upper Campus) (Hyde Park)

To provide these spaces, GrowBoston and BPS have partnered with Green City Growers, A mission-driven company focused on transforming underutilized spaces into biodiverse food production landscapes. they Providing comprehensive services, including establishing school gardens, weekly education lessons, and ongoing maintenance.

“I am so grateful for the amazing partnership between GrowBoston, Boston Public Schools and Green City Growers,” he said. Supervisor Mary Skipper. “The Boston Green Academy Outdoor Classroom and Community Garden initiative, and the 10 additional school gardens built and managed by Green City Growers, help build a sense of environmental responsibility and community engagement among our students. These types of opportunities open many doors for our students.” Students Intellectually, academically, and in their professional lives. “Partnerships like this are vital to Boston Public Schools as we work to innovate how Boston’s youth learn, and this historic partnership helps lay the foundation for a greener, healthier future for Boston.”

Additionally, BPS recently enhanced outdoor teaching and learning facilities using federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds. In 2022, BPS made significant investments in outdoor teaching and learning, building on the success of the Boston Schoolyard Initiative (BSI). BSI, a public-private partnership between the City of Boston, Boston Public Schools, and the Boston Schoolyard Funders Collaborative, renovated 88 schoolyards and created 38 outdoor classrooms between 1994 and 2014. These outdoor spaces have been supported by Friends of the Boston Schoolyards, a legacy BSI non-profit, and have become valuable resources for students and teachers, providing opportunities for arts, science, writing, and ESL enrichment.

“We are very pleased, in GrowBoston’s first two years, to begin a strong partnership with BPS to provide new food growing opportunities for children in 11 schools,” he said. Shani Fletcher, Director of GrowBoston. “We are excited to find more ways to collaborate in the coming years.”

“We believe that school gardens are invaluable assets that not only enrich the educational experience of students, but also contribute to building a sustainable future for our communities,” he said. Sheila Dillon, Head of Housing. “This new garden and 10 other school gardens throughout the city serve as living classrooms, where students can learn about nutrition, environmental stewardship, and the joys of growing food. We are proud that GrowBoston is partnering with Boston Public Schools and Green City Growers to expand these school garden programs and provide our students with opportunities Hands-on learning that will shape their future and the future of our city.”

Currently, BPS has 38 outdoor classrooms and 79 active school garden programs, with many supported by garden partners such as Green City Growers, CitySprouts, Eastie Farm, Haley House, and the Urban Agriculture Institute. The school district introduced 23 new school gardens in SY22-23. To support teachers in using these resources effectively, BPS provides professional development, funding, and materials through the new Outdoor Teaching and Learning Champions program facilitated by the BPS Department of Science, Technology, and Engineering and the BPS Sustainability, Energy, and Environment Program.

“Spaces are important to young people — they know when to invest in them, and this outdoor classroom is a tremendous gift for Boston Green Academy students,” he said. “We are excited that more BPS schools will have access to this important resource moving forward.” Matt Holzer, Head of School at Boston Green Academy. “Making our schools greener and more sustainable is a priority for everyone. We at BGA are grateful for the partnership between BPS and the City of Boston on this important project.”

By investing in outdoor teaching and learning, BPS is maximizing Boston’s school buildings, schoolyards, and green spaces as living laboratories for sustainability education. This commitment is further strengthened by the appointment of the district’s first-ever Director of Outdoor Teaching and Learning and the establishment of a dedicated staff responsible for the maintenance of outdoor classrooms.

“Green City Growers is bringing organic farming expertise to the school system Virtual classroom garden. We believe that garden classes provide a safe and inclusive place A setting in which students build important connections with each other, with the land and with the world He said: The food they eat Christopher Gralert, President, Green City Growers. “The Gulf Cooperation Council is not onlyIt affects the health and well-being of thousands of children, but it guarantees itThe future sustainability of our food system is in good hands. Students acquire skills and Understand how to grow food in abundance. We prepare students to participate in transforming our food system into a strong, local food system.

Recent ESSER investments have facilitated transformative experiences for seventh grade students, with BPS STEM collaborating with organizations such as Boston Nature Center, Thompson Island Outward Bound Center, and Hale Reservation. These experiences enabled students to connect with nature and promote a deeper understanding of environmental stewardship.

As Boston Public Schools continues to strive to provide outdoor teaching and learning opportunities in all schools, the collaboration between GrowBoston and Boston Public Schools is a testament to its steadfast commitment to promoting sustainable practices and empowering the next generation of environmental leaders.

About GrowBoston: Office of Urban Agriculture

In February 2022, Mayor Michelle Wu announced the creation of the GrowBoston Urban Agriculture Office. GrowBoston is located within the Mayor’s Housing Office and works to increase food production throughout Boston. Develop and implement innovative food production strategies; Providing technical assistance to potential and existing gardens and farms; Develop food production resources for gardeners, farmers and other residents; And coordination with other city departments to expand urban agriculture at the city level. GrowBoston also contributes to Boston’s efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change while addressing the injustices inherent in the current food system. For more information, please visit the GrowBoston website website.

About the BPS Sustainability, Energy and Environment Programme

The vision of the BPS Sustainability, Energy and Environment Program is that every student in Boston Public Schools will attend a healthy, sustainable school. Comprised of the Departments of Sustainability, Energy and Environment, the program is responsible for leading district-wide initiatives to transform sustainability and environmental health measures for BPS’s 119 schools, prioritizing critical and equitable improvements in drinking water access, indoor air quality and outdoor teaching. Learning, renewable energy, efficiency upgrading, and waste disposal. Learn more about sustainability, energy and environment at BPS at https://bostongreenschools.org.

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