The GREAT (Growing Ripens Empowerment and Togetherness) Garden is under way! In late spring of this year, the Buffalo Museum of Science and the Charles Drew Science Magnet School #59 started a garden that is in all senses a community endeavor. Funded by the Eco-Schools program, a grant made possible by the National Wildlife Federation and HSBC Bank, the Charles Drew Science Magnet School #59 was started to educate students on how food is grown and how to prepare it in a healthy way.
Now that the school year is over, the gardens are being used by fifth and sixth grade girls participating in the WNY Women’s Fund program educating them on where food comes from, how it’s grown, and the environmental and health impacts that their food choices have. Future plans for the gardens include offering community classes to engage and educate residents on healthy food preparation and food advocacy.
With contributions from local businesses such as Wegmans for a raised bed, Lowe’s on Transit for discounted materials to construct the beds, and plant seedlings from Niagara County Produce, the GREAT Garden really is a great example of community supported agriculture that will provide far more than a weekly basket of produce.
With six raised beds of vegetables and a seventh designated for strawberries, the students of Charles Drew Science Magnet School #59 and the girls participating in the WNY Women’s Fund program are sure to receive a bountiful education on impacts that their food choices make. While the GREAT Gardens may still be looking for bed sponsors, it’s clear that they are off to a great start.