April 19, 2017 - In South County San Diego, caring teachers are teaming up to create a better community through a new gardening program. In coalition between the Chula Vista Elementary School District and local activists, the CVESD Garden Forum is a group of teachers and citizens who meet to discuss the importance of gardening in hopes of creating a healthier community.
Last September, master gardeners from 44 Chula Vista elementary schools met with the City of Chula Vista Waste Management Department at The Otay Community Garden to discuss an action plan for the CVESD Garden Forum.
The original intent of this committee meeting was to discuss the trials and successes of community gardens across Chula Vista. Inviting experts to weigh in, the forum was purposed to pool ideas and discuss trials and errors to improve the organic food growth efforts. However, in the midst of the discussions, it seems the forum came up with something far more impactful…
The CVESD Garden Forum set out to get 100% of CVESD schools to compost all of their wasted lunches. A very easily implemented action plan, all that is required are compost bins in all cafeterias and lunch areas. To add, the committee also organized Spanish and English language seminars to educate the teachers and students about the program. The City’s Waste Management Department also offered to supply the compost bins for free.
“Wow!!! What a winter in Southern California!!!” said a member of The Otay Community Garden. “With an unusually wet winter and a snowpack over 200%, you can only imagine the effects on our garden!”
The effects of the drought-ending winter have done wonders for agriculture and the Southern California communities that depend on rain water. The abundance of storm systems bringing rain to Southern California has played a major part in not only the health of the school gardens, but also offsets costs in previous years to irrigate crops that would have otherwise died back.
Today, the community gardens are thriving, but CVESD schools need support from community members to keep this effort alive. If you are a school administrator or or member of the South County community and would like to get involved, email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
About Chula Vista Elementary School District
Home to some of the best schools in San Diego County, students in the Chula Vista Elementary School District experience a rigorous 21st Century learning environment that is rooted in effective teaching practices and high-quality instruction. Our mission is to nurture every child's imagination, intellect, and sense of inquiry. Working collaboratively, we tap a collective intelligence rich with the spirit and creativity necessary for students to become difference makers.
The district's 46 schools serve more than 29,700 students, primarily in grades K-6. Our schools serve a vibrant, diverse community that features a blend of residential areas, recreational facilities, open space, and light industry.