ENRICHLA is an Environmental Non-profit focused on adding edible school gardens to public schools. Our school gardens are inexpensive, promote community involvement, encourage respect for our delicate planet, act as outdoor classrooms, cheer up school campuses, help students build a good work ethic, and promote thoughtful and healthy eating habits.
With gardens, the classroom is given local focus, tangible results, and involvement in inquiry-based education that can take place at each child’s own speed.
School districts tend to be focused on providing bricks and mortar, books and paper, and technology. Garden projects work on bringing the abstract concepts alive (literally) so that children can truly see and understand what it is they are supposed to be learning.
Many children would have very little contact with the natural world without school garden and habitat exposure, yet they are expected to understand it and manage it as adults. This makes school garden projects ever more important in the long run.
So, what exactly does EnrichLA do?
We build/renovate gardens.
Any public school that would like a garden contacts EnrichLA. We then work with that school and find a location on campus for the garden. We design the garden and secure the necessary permits from LAUSD facilities and other departments. We work with the school to find funding for the garden through grants, internal school funding and fundraising. Finally we organize a huge “build day” to build the garden using both our own volunteers and volunteers from that particular school and surrounding community.
We provide “Home & Garden Economics” programming.
Any public school with a garden can contract with EnrichLA to come to their school on a weekly basis to give their students an experience in gardening and cooking. Again, we work with the school to find funding through grants, internal school funding and fundraising.
How can I help or how can I get involved?
There are five ways that you as an individual can help EnrichLA.
- SATURDAY GARDEN BUILD DAYS. Sign up on our VOLUNTEERING page for one of our “build days” which are usually held on Saturdays from nine to two. You will join about 50 other volunteers and you will be asked to do anything from gardening, to carpentry, to plumbing, to sign painting and really whatever it takes to install a garden. Our build days are very organized, very productive and super positive. You will walk away from one of these days feeling like you’ve made a difference and you will make a bunch of new friends.
- WEEKLY SCHOOL GARDEN VISITS. Sign up HERE to volunteer on a weekly basis for a few hours at one of our school gardens to help us take students out into the garden. The times are usually in the late morning/early after-noon and this usually involves planting with the students, weeding, watering, composting, cooking or just simply hanging out in the garden.
“I volunteer every Tuesday to take special needs kids out into the garden at a local high school and I can tell you it is one of the most rewarding things that I do in my life” Tomàs O’Grady
- Donate to EnrichLA on our DONATE and your money will help us to help schools realize their inner green thumb.
- Ideas. We are innovative and we know how to listen. Do you have an idea? Do you have access to something that we might need? Do you have that critical one time contribution that you can make to EnrichLA to help us do what we do better? Contact us at 323 387 3866 or Tomasogradyenrichla@gmail.com
- Become a member. Join our team of members who apply for grants, organize volunteers, visit schools and simply get the job done.
I am an Educator or Parent and I would like a garden at our School. How?
Contact Tomas O’Grady at 323 387 3866 or Tomasogradyenrichla@gmail.com. We will come to your site and see if there are potential locations and take it from there. A school’s lack of funding has yet to stop us from installing a garden.