A School Garden Begins to Bloom Along D.C. Rail-Trail

Posted 06/14/10 by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy in Building Trails

Photo © M.V. Jantzen/Rails-to-Trails Conservancy

As part of the Meet the Met grand-opening celebration on Saturday, June 5, DC Prep Academy Charter School and Rails-to-Trails Conservancy teamed up to add another school garden into the growing rolls of urban agriculture taking place around the country. The 1,000-square-foot garden, set in Northeast D.C.’s Edgewood community, will combine an edible forest of fruit trees, perennial vegetables, herbs, insectary plants and dynamic accumulators with a large space for growing annual crops like collards, corn, squash, tomatoes and more.

The advantage of this garden site is that it is located along the brand-new Metropolitan Branch Trail coming out of Union Station, which provides previously cut-off communities accessibility to the metro and to Union Station and the Capitol. The garden will not only beautify the new trail, it will hopefully connect the charter school to the community in a new way. DC Prep is housed in old industrial buildings that had used the nearby railroad, and even now their middle school campus has no playground to speak of. A true “urban” campus, DC Prep students are absolutely the students that most need to be reconnected to the growing of food and how it affects our lives

Plans are being made for how the garden will be used, but classes and teachers are already lining up to use the garden in their curriculum. Hopefully, the site will be used not only to educate students in genuine food production, but bring a small and steady stream of locally grown produce into the homes of the students and teachers at the school. DC Prep already is at the forefront of school food, using Revolution Foods as their sourcing agent, and we hope next year to collaborate with Revolution Foods in cooking demonstrations using food from the garden.

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