Since their partnership began late last summer, members of the Ridgewood Community Garden along with students and faculty at Grover Cleveland High School have been working to create a garden for not only the high schoolers, but the community as a whole.
The garden — which has taken on the Ridgewood Community Garden name — is located near Grover Cleveland High School, on Metropolitan Avenue between Armory Court and Tonsor Street, making for the perfect partnership.
Students in Grover Cleveland’s Plant Science class already use the garden in conjunction with their plant science curriculum.
“Our students experience hands-on lessons — working with plants and experiments working with preparing seedlings, plant propagation, transplanting plants from flats to larger pots for later greenhouse and garden planting,” said Varda Verstandig, the Plant Science teacher at Grover Cleveland High School. “Our students pick and harvest our own vegetables in the beginning of the school year, plant daffodils, garlic, and an array of vegetables in our school garden.”
Now, the garden will be made open to the public during the Garden Inaugural Event, hosted by Ridgewood Community Garden. The event will take place on Sunday, May 7 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., where residents can come together to learn, socialize, and enjoy the garden.
Residents will be able to check out the sub-irrigated planter prepared by Grover Cleveland students, and will get their own hands-on experience at the garden by filling the bed with soil and transplanting vegetable seedlings, preparing and sowing patches of wildflowers and sunflowers, hanging banners, assembling a new wheelbarrow, and transplanting border plants. There will also be a hat and plant sale fundraiser and a raffle giveaway at the event.
Once the garden officially opens to the public, the Ridgewood Community Garden group hopes to see the garden become an even better outdoor classroom for Grover Cleveland students, an urban agricultural garden, a place to learn about native New York plants and medicinal plants, as well as a place of retreat for the community. Their long-term goals include becoming a destination for a NYC Greenmarket and Community Supported Agriculture pickup point.
Grover Cleveland plans to continue to use the garden to educate their students.
“Our goals are to prepare students to be productive members of society,” Verstandig said. “Through our plant science program our students learn responsibility, nurturing and caring for plants. Our students can utilize their knowledge of horticulture [in] other venues if [they choose].”
For more information about the upcoming Garden Inaugural Event, visit the Ridgewood Community Garden’s Facebook event page.