California School Garden Network Hosts Garden Makeover at Locke High School in Los Angeles

Los Angeles (October 21, 2006), First Lady Maria Shriver joins the California School Garden Network (CSGN) and hundreds of students, teachers, families and volunteers at the launch of the inaugural California School Garden Week at Locke High School on Saturday, October 21, 2006.
"California School Gardens are a great way to bring students, teachers, families and communities together for a worthwhile cause that beautifies California schools and teaches children about the importance of environmental stewardship," said Shriver. " I'm thrilled to join in the celebration of California School Garden Week, and congratulate the California School Garden Network on being such an invaluable resource for schools throughout the Golden State."

In an effort to recognize the importance of school gardens, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has proclaimed October 21 & 27 as California School Garden Week. Schools throughout the state are participating in special garden activities and events to celebrate the success of school gardens and to raise awareness for programs, support systems and resources that are available to schools.

To highlight California School Garden Week, Locke High School has been selected by CSGN to receive a school garden makeover where students, teachers and community members will maintain their new garden named The Sanctuary and will be implementing horticulture classes that teach important lessons on the environment and agriculture through a hands-on learning approach that furthers the students understanding of these subjects.

"We are excited that when the garden is planted we will have an area for an outdoor classroom where teachers can use the garden to teach math, art, science or any other discipline," said Dr. Wells, a counselor at Locke High School.

At the garden makeover, CSGN will also announce the release of its new book, "Gardens for Learning: Creating and Sustaining Your School Garden," which is available at no cost to California schools. This comprehensive guidebook, for which First Lady Maria Shriver wrote the foreword, is an instructional resource for teachers, parents and schools interested in creating a garden. "Gardens for Learning" was developed by a team of experienced garden educators, nutritionists, state officials and other garden experts. More information on the guidebook is available at www.csgn.org.
In addition to a garden makeover, an interactive resource fair will take place to provide opportunities for families, administrators and community leaders to gain a better understanding of volunteerism, school gardens and healthy living. Free prizes will be given away, along with handouts and other pertinent information.
CSGN, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, has came together through the passion of its members who represent more than 40 public and private organizations, educational institutions and state agencies. Dedicated to having a garden in every California school, these public, private and governmental agencies have combined efforts to develop an all-inclusive program for educators seeking information about growing and sustaining school gardens for their students.

"We a proud to bring together more than 40 partnering organizations with really one purpose and objective and that is to expose more children to garden based learning," said Tim Alderson, Chairman of CSGN.

"Gardens teach children so many important lessons from academic achievement to healthy lifestyles, and today is a celebration and just the beginning of bringing more gardens to the children of California."

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