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School Gardens, Community Empowerment, and Food Sovereignty

by Jeannie Russell
At HEART, we understand that public schools are (to turn a phrase) the heart of their communities. Schools bring together the interests and hopes of both current and future generations of community members by connecting diverse neighbors, providing many critical direct services to them and their children, and fostering the next generation of community leaders. What could be better than to create within that community heart a living home — one that both mirrors and actively nurtures our natural world by proving space for wild and cultivated species alike, and offers myriad opportunities for youth and the wider community to explore, reflect upon, collaborate with, and directly participate in the processes that support all life on Earth? School gardens place this living world within the school and directly into the lives of its students, and also have the potential to bring their parents, as well as community elders …

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