LOS ANGELES, CA – Pens and paper are the typical supplies for many high school students, but that is not the case at Arroyo High School in El Monte.
- Students growing their skills in garden club
- Found in part by Eco Urban Gardens
- Helping students learn about agriculture, nutrition
The school is part of a growing program, founded in partnership with a local nonprofit ECo Urban Gardens, meant to help students learn skills in agriculture, environment, and nutrition. Arroyo's garden club features about 15 students who meet regularly after school to tend to their crops.
"What school wouldn’t have a garden because it honestly promotes healthy living and gives students a place to chill if they’re stressed out," said senior Oscar Ramos, the president of the club.
The Arroyo High School’s garden club allows students to grow and cultivate a variety of foods including kale, bok choy, apples, and even potatoes.
ECo Urban Gardens brought the program to El Monte in 2016. This site is serving as a pilot for other schools in the area and will be home to expanded tools in the near future.
"The idea is that we will be training our future farmers, future agriculturalists, our future environmental scientists and landscape designers," said Elizabeth Christy, the program coordinator for ECo Urban Gardens.
In addition to growing crops, the site will also house a 2,000 square foot outdoor learning space - the future home to a Career Technical Education program at the high school.
Although there is no concrete timeline, both Christy and the students in her garden club are excited for their growing future.