Garden project to translate classroom learning to hands-on experience

January 28, 2019 — by Allison Hartley and Selena Liu

APES participates in a community service project in which they help create gardens in low-income communities.

The school’s service coordinator Tim Gallaher will be managing a community service garden project for AP Environmental Science students in February and March with the Sacred Heart Community Service group La Mesa Verde (LMV).

LMV, a San Jose-based “network of low-income urban gardeners who build access to healthy food,” according to a Sacred Heart Community Service blog,  fosters a mutually supportive community by providing workshops and volunteering to build garden boxes to give 50 new families a year access to fresh vegetables. The families, who have all attended classes at Sacred Heart, receive redwood planter boxes, soil, seedlings and instructions on how to maintain their urban gardens.

Participating students from APES, Leadership and any other interested classes are invited to volunteer “hands and feet to build the garden boxes and prepare the soil,” Galleher said. Volunteers will dig and shovel dirt to build the garden boxes and install a drip irrigation system, which will give students hands-on experience with environmental projects. SHS has participated in the project for the past two years.

In APES, students learned how community gardens create common goals and habits for the locals. Junior Shivam Mani noted how the project translates course content to the real world.

“It relates to what I’m learning in school, which makes it more interesting than just a regular service project,” Mani said. “I don’t think much of gardens usually, but after learning about them in APES, it changed my perspective on what these things can do.”

Both Mani and Gallaher believe that the community service event is especially suitable for students who want to gain hands-on experience with environment-related projects.

“I thought this would be a great project for APES students and get them out into the community to help others and learn how their classroom knowledge translates to the world,” Galleher said.

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