LEAP Edible Streetscaping Afterschool Program
In 2009, we launched our 1st Edible Streetscaping pilot project in partnership with the fabulous students and staff of Leadership High School on south 12th street in Richmond.
This project encouraged high school students to identify under-utilized public spaces along Richmond sidewalks that could be transformed from public spaces filled with dead or inedible vegetation, rocks and broken glass to edible, low-maintenance native plants, berries and fruit trees.
Year one of this project was an outstanding success! Students not only learned the basics of urban agriculture but they also learned the basics of landscape design and installation. Over a 3 week period students worked in teams to redesign a 100ft stretch of streetscaping in front of their school. Then during the following 5 weeks students worked with Urban Tilth staff to install their design. The LEAP kids were so excited about the project that they even surprised us by taking the initiative to design, coordinate and install their on rainwater cachment system using the downspout of the portable classrooms adjacent to their project area. They now use the water they collect throughout the year to irrigate their project area.
Over the past 6 months the LEAP Afterschool Program has expanded to a 6 hour per week program covering a multitude of Urban Agriculture, Permaculture, Ecology and climate Change topics. The program is led by 2 Urban Tilth staff members and with assistance from one of our newest Apprentices who is also a LEAP student. During the spring of 2010, LEAP began building their own fruit and vegetable raised bed garden in the middle of their school campus.
Urban Tilth looks forward to continuing to work with this dynamic group of Richmond and San Pablo kids. Stay tuned!