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Libby Elementary Community Garden Grand Opening Ceremony
Posted 8/30/19

Teach a kid to garden, and they eat well for a lifetime. 


Fruit trees, kale, looming sunflowers and more were put on display at Libby Elementary on Wednesday, Aug. 28 for the grand opening of its community garden, which has transformed land that was once just a dirt lot. 


Made possible through funding from the County of San Diego Health & Human Services, the garden provides students and families an opportunity to participate in healthy eating, exercise, socialization, and so much more. 


“A lot of the food that we’re growing is going directly to our families, our community,” said Principal Cesar Mora, who has even put in time with his family on the weekends to work in the garden. 


Mora said during registration for the new school year, a crate full of cherry tomatoes from the garden was handed out and “gone by the end of the day.”


The garden is left open to students like 5th grader Gracie Davidson, who likes to work in the garden on recess. She said, “It makes our school look very pretty, I like all the trees!”


Mora said the garden started in partnership with a local church, until the school began working with Vicki Gravlin, OUSD’s senior director of curriculum and instruction, to expand the project by seeking funding from the county. 


The district wanted to provide students with a “hands-on learning opportunity” that would “reinforce the values of healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle,” Gravlin said. “First and foremost, it is to have a space to experience a community venue alongside adults who are role models.”


Kat Casabar Briggs, community health promotion manager for Health & Human Services, said the contract with the school district for the garden was part of the county’s intergenerational programming to help develop projects with impacts lasting through generations. 


Several other schools in the district such as Palmquist Elementary, Lincoln Middle School and Oceanside High School have also developed gardens. And they aren’t just about fruits and vegetables. Students and staff can use the space for learning activities, exercise, reading or simply enjoying the peace of the garden.


Check out the Libby Community Garden grand opening video to see the event.