Brook Hill Elementary School recently received a $4.200 grant to create a community garden, said third-grade teacher Katie Cooney.
The grant comes through a San Francisco Giants program called Step up to the Plate for Education, which provides $100,000 in grants to 25 Bay Area schools. The $4.200 will help pay for more raised beds, wheelbarrows, soil and more.
Cooney applied for the grant with the idea of expanding a small, overgrown garden on the school’s campus into a community garden where nearby families could participate and take ownership. She expects the school to begin working on the garden in the spring.
“I’d like to eventually see students eating food that comes from the garden so they’re experiencing what it’s like to see a direct connection between growing and eating food,” she said.
Brook Hill Elementary has about 550 students, many of whom are below the poverty line and non-native English speakers. Most students don’t have access to gardens at home, she said.
The school last year received the lowest dollar amount of donations of any school in the Santa Rosa City School District. But that doesn’t mean parents don’t want to be involved and contribute, Cooney said.
“We have a really strong community of parents,” she said, adding that many would love to help out with a garden. “We can’t do community auctions, but there’s still really strong parent involvement.”