All Corps Day: schoolyard gardening

By Dita Amtey, Youth Outdoors AmeriCorps member

Corps members build raised plant beds at Brooklyn Center High School. Foreground: Santwoine Thornton (left) and Jennifer Wendland, and Nick Cox (blue helmet).On May 6, a warm spring afternoon made for a welcome opportunity for corps members to learn about local schoolyard gardening, at the second spring All Corps Day volunteer service event. Participants visited Rivers Edge Academy, a local charter school with an alternative, environmentally-driven curriculum. Afterward, corps members heard about the work of Eco Education, a nonprofit dedicated to enhancing public outdoor education by teaming up with local schools. Eco Education builds schoolyard gardens to give students hands-on experience with earth science and provide an outdoor alternative to sports. Corps members ended the day with Eco Education staff at Brooklyn Center High School building raised plant beds, making signs and creating mosaics for the schoolyard garden that will soon be an outdoor fixture at the high school.