Garden Education: Indoor and Outdoor
Food Waste Diversion
Park City School District Composting Program
Two years ago, EATS staff noticed large amounts of food waste in school waste bins and saw this as an awesome opportunity to divert the food from waste to compost. EATS employed Spoil to Soil to shuttle 5-gallon buckets to and from the school, taking the food waste to a local farm. This method worked well when students were eating together in their classrooms, but EATS staff soon recognized a need for a much larger composting program.
Last school year, EATS teamed up with Momentum Recycling to offer composting at lunchtime. In the cafeterias at Parley’s Park and Jeremy Ranch Elementary Schools, students and teachers could find normal trash cans alongside bright green 64 gallon compost bins. With the help of EATS staff and volunteers, students can empty all of their food waste in the large green compost bins and divert all of their food waste from the landfill! Last year, we diverted over 28,000 POUNDS of food waste, averaging 550 lbs at each school per week. We are expanding this program across the whole district and beyond.
CONGRATULATIONS to our latest participant in this program: McPolin Elementary School !!
Our list of participants now include:
Parley's Park Elementary, Park City Day School, Jeremy Ranch Elementary, McPolin Elementary
Anna Robertson from The Cool Down explains what it takes to start a school composting program: HERE
We commend Park City High School for initiating their own composting agreement with Momentum and look forward to assisting more schools create a new sustainable routine.
School Gardens provide students with first-hand knowledge of growing food that can also incorporate many other aspects of curriculum: science, math, culture, and social skills.
Garden-based nutrition education also improves fruit and vegetable consumption for students, as they are more likely to try foods that they have grown and prepared. School gardens can create opportunities for project-based and place-based learning.
"There simply isn’t a better way to feed our children than with locally grown, fresh food. I’ve seen many picky eaters turn into healthy food enthusiasts by connecting them to their food in real, educational, and exciting ways. As a farmer, it doesn’t get more rewarding than knowing your food is feeding the future right at home and in the communities you care about and love."
- Andrea Morgan
Owner / Operator, Ranui Gardens
Through our involvement in school gardens at Park City schools, we have seen first-hand results in students:
- Yearning to eat the healthy foods they grow.
- Becoming more aware of environmental sustainability and where food comes from.
- Having responsibilities not typically offered in the classroom.
Mountain communities experience shorter growing seasons. Cooler temperatures, high altitude, and early & late frosts create a brief window to grow outside. Indoor gardens and hydroponic gardens are a good option for year-round gardens and garden education. We use them in classrooms where students can plant, monitor, and harvest throughout the school year. EATS also sponsors indoor gardens at community locations like the Park City Library.
Parley’s Park Elementary School Greenhouse and Garden
The PTA at Parley’s purchased a greenhouse in 2018 that opened to students on Earth Day in 2019. EATS has been facilitating STEM lessons and providing garden support ever since. In the fall of 2020, EATS implemented a composting program to offset some of the food scrap waste from the Parley's Park kitchen and divert it to the greenhouse gardens to make rich compost.
Park City Day School Greenhouse and Garden
Designed to complement the academic curriculum, the growing spaces at Park City Day School provide the opportunity for year-round gardening and sustainability education. Students get their hands dirty planting, weeding, and harvesting their favorite vegetables and herbs while studying the food cycle and learning sustainable habits.
Summit Community Gardens
EATS rents two plots from our partner organization. EATS uses these plots for garden lessons, to grow produce used in some of our lessons and to provide fresh produce to community members.
Ecker Hill Middle School Garden
Annie Wallace and Brad Gannon, two teachers at Ecker, are dedicated to seeing this garden flourish. They not only involve their own classes in the tasks at hand but have created an after school club to further engage interested students. In addition to pulling weeds and harvesting veggies, these students are in charge of designing and building structures, planning the garden, and starting the seeds for the year to come.
Park City Learning Center Raised Beds and Greenhouse
At the beginning of the 2020 school year, EATS helped fund a raised bed at the Learning Center. The students and teachers followed up by raising funds for even more raised beds. After seeing high interest and engagement from students, EATS helped keep the momentum going by supporting the Learning Center in setting up a temporary greenhouse behind the school. There will be more fresh, nutritious, locally-grown food to come in spring and summer of 2023!
If you would like to help implement or maintain a garden in the greater Park City area, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
EATS offers garden consultations and setup! Please reach out to email@example.com to set yours up today.