The Galileo Garden Project
The Galileo Garden Project Where Learning Comes Alive!
Galileo School of Math and Science (formerly East Middle School) was established in 2007 as the region’s first math/science magnet school. To support the school’s commitment to project-based learning and unique courses like sustainable agriculture, dollars from a Federal Magnet Schools Assistance Program grant were used to purchase a 42-foot geodesic dome greenhouse in 2011. The greenhouse produces lettuce, herbs, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, peppers, spinach, and squash for our school salad bar and lunch menu, while also providing this wonderful food through the D11 Food & Nutrition Services department reaching 65 locations across the city. The greenhouse and five outdoor beds grew approximately 1,500 pounds of fresh produce in 2012 which went directly from the greenhouse to our school kitchens and into the mouths of hungry D11 students!
We have already seen the consumption of fresh produce increase dramatically in our cafeteria at Galileo. With the announcement each week that a harvest has occurred, the line for the salad bar that day stretches out of the cafeteria door! The vegetables are also added to the side salads, sandwiches, and wraps provided in our lunch meals.
By teaching our students about the source their food, how it is grown, and by whom, we will create a greater connection between our students and their vegetables, and encourage them to make healthier food choices in life. We also plan to provide classes in nutrition education, gardening, and food preparation to our community, free of charge.
With the garden's Phase 2 expansion in Spring/Summer 2013, we will create a school/community space that is vibrant, healthy, and growing, a point of pride for the school population, and a mechanism to bring fresh, local, organic produce to students in this neighborhood which has limited access to such products and opportunities.
For more information please contact Rick Hughes, Director of Food & Nutrition Services at (719) 520-2924 or Rick.Hughes@D11.org