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March 15, 2011 > Spring planting for 21 school gardens

Spring planting for 21 school gardens

Submitted By Claudia Medina
Photos By courtesy of ACOE

On the morning of March 1, a mountain of compost was piled high at Tennyson High School in Hayward and San Lorenzo High School in San Lorenzo. A total of 40 cubic yards of WM EarthCareTM Homegrown Compost was delivered to the two sites, a donation from Waste Management of Alameda County, Inc. The locally produced compost from Alameda County yard trimmings and food scraps will help kick-off spring planting at 21 Project EAT school gardens in Hayward and San Lorenzo unified school districts.

"We are thrilled to share the nourishing benefits of Homegrown Compost and to help Project EAT educate their students about the natural food cycle," said Karen Stern, Waste Management's WM EarthCareTM spokesperson. "By demonstrating the power of compost to nourish the soil that gives life to the plants the students eat, they are better able to understand the closed-loop connection to food scraps recycling in their homes."

Director of Project EAT, Chris Boynton, added, "We all know that you don't grow gardens, you grow dirt. We are grateful for Waste Management for supporting a unique and engaging learning environment for our students and providing the necessary ingredients to produce healthy food for our students in Alameda County."

"We appreciate Waste Management's donation to help create and maintain school gardens in Alameda County," said Sheila Jordan, Alameda County Superintendent of Schools. "For years, funding from the Public Health Department's Network for a Healthy CA has supported Project EAT's nutrition education in school gardens. Unfortunately, a recent change in legislation threatens the use of that funding. We hope that this critical support continues and is expanded to include supplies to run the gardens."

The 21 schools receiving the compost in the Hayward and San Lorenzo Unified School Districts are: Bidwell Elementary, Bowman Elementary, Burbank Elementary, Chavez Middle School, Cherryland Elementary, Colonial Acres Elementary, Eldridge Elementary, Hesperian Elementary, Longwood Elementary, Palma Ceia Elementary, Park Elementary, Ruus Elementary, San Lorenzo High, Shafer Park Elementary, Shepard School, Tennyson High School, Treeview Elementary, Tyrell Elementary and Winton Middle School.

ACOE's Project EAT (Educate, Act, Thrive) provides nutrition education and physical activity promotion through garden-based education and cooking connection classes. For information see www.projecteat.com. To learn more about WM EarthCareTM visit www.wmearthcare.com.

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