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US (MA): Outdoor classrooms introduce Boston students to agriculture and the joy of growing food

Last month, Boston Green Academy’s new outdoor classroom opened its garden gates for the first time. It’s the first of ten new outdoor classrooms being implemented across Boston Public Schools as a part of Mayor Michelle Wu’s Connect, Learn, Explore initiative, which aims to help Boston’s youngest learners get the best education.

The project was kicked off with the help of Green City Growers, an organization that transforms underutilized spaces into biodiverse food production landscapes.

Christopher Grallert: "This started about ten years ago, I think, at the charter school—actually, through a relationship with the Friends of the Boston Schoolyards. Over the years, we’ve increased to now, I guess, 48 or so public schools. But it’s the kind of programming that’s lasting. The garden beds themselves are built to last. Green City Growers is going to keep coming back, so it adds a particular assurance to the success of the program that many other programs in the past haven’t had, and I think BPS has taken notice of this. It’s an exciting time for us, and I think for BPS as well."

Caitie Dwyer-Huppert: "Yes, it’s such a partnership. The sustainability department in Boston Public Schools facilities, as well as Friends of the Boston Schoolyard, really get it. They get what we also believe: every Boston public school student really deserves to have their hands in the ground, to have a space at their school where they can be in nature and they can see and feel plants growing—not only to understand where their food comes from but feel kinesthetically as they’re learning how a seed grows and responds to the sun, and the rich soil in their own hands as they attend with our farmer educators to the plants and create beautiful and sustainable gardens that, with our educators, grow through spring, summer and fall"


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