MFEE (Montclair Fund for Educational Excellence) in partnership with the Partners for Health Foundation and the Montclair PTA Council are proud to announce the launch of our school garden initiative – Montclair DIGS !(District Initiative for Gardening in our Schools)!
Montclair DIGS is a wonderful opportunity for each Montclair school to start, maintain or enhance an existing school garden. School gardens have been a part of the American school system since the 1800’s (http://www.loc.gov/rr/program/journey/schoolgardens.html). A school garden puts the natural world at students’ fingertips. This living classroom – whether a small planter box or a large raised bed – offers a rich context for exploring science, nutrition, social studies, math, art, language arts, and more. It also provides opportunities for children to taste vegetables they have grown and to build bridges with the larger Montclair community through donations to local food banks and soup kitchens.
This initiative will be coordinated by MFEE under the direction of Montclair residents, Sarah Vogel and Sabina Ernst. Sarah is a professional landscape designer, and gardener. She has designed improvements of the Glenfield Middle School and Montclair High School landscapes, including the newly landscaped area in the high school’s Chestnut Street horseshoe. Sabina is a graduate of the Essex County Master Gardener program and an avid home gardener. She has run the Bradford School garden program for several years and has been instrumental in reinvigorating the vegetable gardening plots at Renaissance Middle School at the Rand building.
Each school that wishes to maintain a school garden can apply for funding through DIGS. Approved programs will be eligible to receive $1500 over the first two years and will then be able to apply for yearly sustaining grants.