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Atwater Avenue Elementary School

Created in the fall of 2011, this little vegetable garden includes raised beds, an outdoor sink, picnic tables, and a composting center. EnrichLA has proudly been delivering the Garden Ranger Program to this school since then.

Flower power at Atwater Ave Elementary

Flower power at Atwater Ave Elementary

Thanks to all the rain this winter in Los Angeles, the city is covered with beautiful blooms and scents. I decided that the flowers of our school garden and our city deserve a moment in the spotlight, so gardeners got a whole new appreciation of flowers in class this week! Students drew out different parts…

A new spring class begins at Atwater Ave

A new spring class begins at Atwater Ave

Last week was the first class for a brand new set of gardeners here at Atwater Ave! It was also the first time I’ve had a repeating section of gardeners from earlier in the year, so I was very excited to jump right in. I spoke with all of the new gardeners about the things…

Atwater Ave learns about friends & foes

Atwater Ave learns about friends & foes

This week at Atwater Ave, students got to peek behind the serene curtain of the garden, into the intense battle of the insect kingdom! We learned all about the garden’s most common pests and beneficials, and what their roles are. For example, this ladybug we spotted is on the hunt for aphids and other little…

Harvest hunt at Atwater Ave

This week at Atwater Ave, the students got a chance to show off their gardening chops with a garden scavenger hunt! The students were challenged to use their senses and observational skills to find different things in the garden. Many of these were from different lessons we’d had together- root types, learning about seedlings, and…

The Circle of a Seed’s Life at Atwater Ave Elementary

The Circle of a Seed’s Life at Atwater Ave Elementary

Now seriously, forget the chicken – what came first, the seed or the plant? It’s such a cyclical process, and this week in class, I urged my students to pay homage to the tiny seed and all it does for us. We learned about the 3 main parts of a seed, and what the purpose of…

Decompose like a Pro at Atwater Ave Elementary

Decompose like a Pro at Atwater Ave Elementary

Gardeners this week at Atwater Elementary got along like a 2-to-1 ratio of browns to greens in a compost pile! Oho, just a little trash humor for all of you readers at home. We talked all about the importance of compost and how to tell if a compost pile is healthy and effective. First, we…

A Deep Dive into Trash at Atwater Ave Elementary

A Deep Dive into Trash at Atwater Ave Elementary

This class we talked about humanity’s number 1 byproduct: trash! The gardeners this rotation were already trash professionals, and were able to tell me what our blue, black, and green bins in LA are for. I wanted to speak with the students not only about the “what” goes in which bin, but also the “why” of…

Sunshine and Beautiful Weather at Atwater

Sunshine and Beautiful Weather at Atwater

Week two at Atwater Elementary brought us sunshine and beautiful weather, making it the perfect day to get my young gardeners’ hands dirty. We started the week by learning the 6 different parts of a plant and all of the roles they play. Students drew the life cycle of a plant, from seed to shining…

Garden Intro at Atwater Ave Elementary

Garden Intro at Atwater Ave Elementary

  I’ve got a brand new set of gardeners this week at Atwater Ave Elementary! That means it’s time to whip this rain-soaked garden into shape for spring. It’s been raining pretty consistently for the past few months – hallelujah – and some things have started to look a little weather-worn. I spent this week…

Atwater Elementary’s Harvest Party: Winter Edition

Atwater Elementary’s Harvest Party: Winter Edition

Somehow six weeks have passed already. This Ranger is honestly flummoxed with how fast time flies, but even I can’y deny… it’s time to party! With the garden looking truly spectacular, and the romaine already coming back after a first harvest, I figured a fresh garden salad was definitely in order.   The students brought in…

Compost To-Go at Atwater Ave Elementary

Compost To-Go at Atwater Ave Elementary

Ah, the penultimate day of classes is always so bittersweet. The best news was that the weather finally cooperated today, and we could go outside and see what the rain brought. I for one was not so happy to find that our dinosaur kale had gone a little sideways. It may be hard to tell…

Poems on a Rainy Day at Atwater Elementary

Poems on a Rainy Day at Atwater Elementary

    I’ve got to admit, I came back to Atwater this week with a slight feeling of trepidation. Three weeks of winter vacation, plus all this lovely rain?! I had no idea what I was going to walk into!     Well, you heard it here, folks…plants apparently love rain, and I came back to…

Parts of a Plant, Holiday Style at Atwater Elementary

Parts of a Plant, Holiday Style at Atwater Elementary

It’s beginning to look a lot like winter in the Atwater Ave Elementary school garden! The weather is cool, the sky is cloudy, and our cold-weather crops are giving us a big old smile. We spent this class learning all about different parts of a plant and what they do! Students drew out the 6…

First day of classes at Atwater Ave Elementary

First day of classes at Atwater Ave Elementary

It was the first day of garden class for many new students at Atwater Ave Elementary this past week. Most of them are brand new to gardening, so I’m very excited to get them introduced to a whole new world of soil, seedlings, and magic! We spent most of today playing some garden introduction games…

Harvest Party at Atwater Ave Elementary

Harvest Party at Atwater Ave Elementary

The last day of our rotation was all about healthy habits. We know how to identify healthy, wholesome foods in the garden…but how do we carry those habits into a grocery store? What’s the difference between organic and regular foods, not just for produce, but for cereals and snacks? We talked about the most popular…

Learning about Seasons & Holiday Foods at Atwater Elementary

Learning about Seasons & Holiday Foods at Atwater Elementary

This was our last day of class before Thanksgiving, and food was obviously on my mind today! Gardeners learned all about seasonal foods this lesson, including why our traditional holiday foods are so linked to the weather. Nowadays we can go into the grocery story any old day and buy watermelon, turnips, and corn, all…

Pests & Beneficials Run Free at Atwater Elementary

Pests & Beneficials Run Free at Atwater Elementary

This week at Atwater Elementary, we went back to basics. We just saw how the human world decides our ultimate American competition with the election process, so I wanted to delve into all of the microscopic competitions playing out in our very own garden. These photos show beautiful, bountiful examples of vibrant greenery – right? In…

Seed Experiments at Atwater Elementary

Seed Experiments at Atwater Elementary

  Last week gardeners at Atwater Elementary learned all about different parts of a plant – from seed and back again! This week we took a closer look at seeds – where they come from, and what they’re made up of, especially in plants that don’t produce fruit. There were two great examples of non-fruiting…

Learning the Parts of a Plants at Atwater Elementary

Learning the Parts of a Plants at Atwater Elementary

Second week with my new gardeners was all about learning the 6 parts of a plant, and the role they play. Let’s all pretend I didn’t go to art school and please excuse the drawing above – sketching under pressure is tough, guys!   Students matched descriptions of actions with the different parts of the plants,…

Welcome new gardeners at Atwater Elementary!

Welcome new gardeners at Atwater Elementary!

The first day of the new semester began with a bang! The garden was full of pollinators, our seedlings were popping, and my new gardeners were ready to explore.   We went over garden guidelines, especially the importance of asking before harvesting! We played a game of “identify the plant,” where volunteers had to identify…

Students at Atwater grew with the seasons

Students at Atwater grew with the seasons

The students at Atwater Avenue Elementary learned about the seasons and climate this week. Once they became familiar with what grew in what season, they pointed out plants that thrive in either the winter or the summer season. They also reviewed what soil was made of by viewing the different layers of sand, silt, and…

clay, silt sand @ Atwater Elementary

clay, silt sand @ Atwater Elementary

  September 29,2016 Sand clay and Silt make  a rich, balance soil or “loam” Students  from Atwater Elementary  discovered just that..  they  touched and observed samples of good soils and depleted soil. They explored through the garden finding good and bad soil, planted carrot seeds, and sample some fresh kale from the edible garden. Ranger-zuri

Atwater Elementary Say Hello to their Sprouts

Atwater Elementary Say Hello to their Sprouts

Things are coming up in Atwater Elementary! The seeds we planted the first week are making themselves known – we can see squash, garlic, and garden beans starting to grow! Thursday was a great day to sit back with some basil-mint-lemon water and talk about photosynthesis! We learned about the different parts of a plant, and…

Atwater Elementary Discovers Beneficials and Pests

Atwater Elementary Discovers Beneficials and Pests

The second week at the garden was all about exploring different relationships in the garden – the friend and the foe; the beneficial and the pest. We learned the most common garden pests and beneficials, including ladybugs, aphids, and assassin bugs. We also learned about our very own very current pest, the spittlebug, which leaves…

Welcome back, Atwater Elementary

Welcome back, Atwater Elementary

Welcome back, dear Atwater students! The garden is looking good – here you can see some of our citrus coming in, and dinosaur kale wandering about. Today was our first day of class, and I was so excited to get started!   Today the students had a refresh course in the garden. We went over garden rules and…

Atwater Elementary Check-In

Atwater Elementary Check-In

I visited my new school garden at Atwater Elementary for the first time. I was impressed by how well maintained it seemed to be. The herbs and trees were thriving! Some vegetables took a hit with the summer heat, but I’m confident we can get it looking beautiful before classes start. Time to start pulling…

Lavender at Atwater

Lavender at Atwater

There is a giant Lavender bush at Atwater that has looked like it has been struggling during all of my visits. Since it is not in the garden beds and part of the landscaping around the garden I focused my attention on the garden beds and vegetable growing plants first. This week, the lavender bush…

Roly Polies at Atwater

Roly Polies at Atwater

  We learned all about the most famous garden pest – the roly poly! We learned that they are crustaceans, that they nibble on our plants, but they can be helpful decomposers…and much, much more! The kids know to head straight for the compost buckets when we’re hunting for rolies. We even found a mama…

Atwater Herbs

Atwater Herbs

We learned to identify all the herbs growing in our garden at Atwater. The kids got to use their senses – look, smell, touch and taste – to identify the herbs. We made basil pesto and mint tea in the garden! We picked leaves off the basil and mint plant and talked about how all…

Planting at Atwater

Planting at Atwater

We planted lots of seedlings at Atwater Avenue Elementary! The irrigation system was damaged, leaving many of the young plants and seeds in the garden to wilt. So, Ranger Anne patched it all up and had a fleet of kinder-2nd graders help replant much of the garden with donated seedlings. The kids loved getting their…

Seeds at Atwater!

Seeds at Atwater!

The students at Atwater Elementary learned about seed germination and how seeds disperse! They learned that seeds need soil, water and the right temperature to start growing. We planted seeds in the garden and looked at seeds of different shapes and sizes!  

Herbs at Atwater!

Herbs at Atwater!

For the last class of the session at Atwater elementary, we learned about delicious herbs. The kids learned that herbs are the leaves of certain plants that we use for things like tea and flavoring. We thought up examples of foods that contain herbs and we learned what the different herbs in our garden were…

Composting at Atwater

Composting at Atwater

Atwater Elementary students learned about the magic of compost! The kinder classes checked out our rapid compost buckets that were in their final stage in the return to soil. They really enjoyed seeing critters like millipedes, earthworms, earwigs and our all-time favorite, the rollypolly. I explained that those adorable critters were the reason we were…

Seasons at Atwater

Seasons at Atwater

          At Atwater Elementary, we talked about the changing seasons. The kindergarten classes drew pictures of their favorite seasons, and then we talked about how plants have favorite growing seasons! We also ate some greens because we have an abundance these days… The third graders became planting pros and helped me…

Seeds at Atwater

Seeds at Atwater

Last week at Atwater Elementary, we learned about seeds. We talked about germination and looked at these real examples of the stages in seed growth from our garden. Then we talked about the different ways that seeds disperse – animals, wind, water and bursting! Seeds that disperse by wind (like dandelions) always get the kids…

Insects at Atwater

Insects at Atwater

This week at Atwater Avenue Elementary we learned about insects! The kindergarten classes got to explore the garden like bees, buzzing around and looking for flowers. They found lots of real bees in the lavender, and while there was some screaming, they also managed to look close enough to notice that they were drinking nectar…

New Classes at Atwater Ave

New Classes at Atwater Ave

We started a new round of classes at Atwater Ave this week! This round, we have kindergarten – 2nd grade students visiting the garden, so we started out by naming some of the parts of the plant. Each students drew a picture of his or her favorite fruit or vegetable, and then we tried to…

Wrapping it up at Atwater Ave

Wrapping it up at Atwater Ave

Last week was our final class of our six week session and an oddly warm winter day. For our last class, we talked about the fact that different plants grow in different seasons, and we harvested quite a bit of broccoli so we could try something that was “in season”. We also played garden 20-questions…

Compost, salad and flowers at Atwater!

We had a blast at Atwater Ave Elementary this week making compost and salad and enjoying the beautiful Spring-like weather The 5th graders collected leftover fruit for a week so that we could compost it, instead of throwing it away… Some students chopped up fruit to make compost, while others put together a salad using…

Freeze Tag at Atwater!

Freeze Tag at Atwater!

We had a lot of fun learning about the insect food chain in the garden by playing Friends and Foes freeze tag! Each student was given a card which could be a friend – carnivorous residents of the garden that eats pests or the friendly pollinators, a foe – the herbivores that nibble on our…

Seed party at Atwater Ave

Last week at Atwater Avenue Elementary, we learned about seeds! First, we talked about how we can eat different kinds of seeds – and then we sampled some favorites. Everyone got to choose which seed was the most delicious. I think chickpeas won the day. After our snack, we talked about what seeds need to…

Parts of the plant at Atwater Elementary

Parts of the plant at Atwater Elementary

We’re starting off the New Year with a new bunch of students at Atwater Avenue Elementary! Our first lesson was about the different parts of the plant that we eat. Each student drew a plant picture so we could label each of the 6 parts: – Garden Anne

Starting fresh at Atwater!

Starting fresh at Atwater!

I’m just coming in as the Garden Ranger at Atwater Avenue Elementary. We were excited to get to work filling some empty beds with new plants before the holiday breaks! It’s looking like we’ll have a plentiful garden very soon! Ranger Anne

Friends and Foes at Atwater

Friends and Foes at Atwater

This week at Atwater Ave. Elementary, we learned about the different creatures that live in the garden. We discussed that some of these creatures are beneficial, while others are harmful to the garden. Students created drawings of their favorite garden creatures. We also explored the garden and identified beneficial and harmful insects that we found.…

Soil and Garden Tools at Atwater

Soil and Garden Tools at Atwater

This week at Atwater Ave. Elementary, students prepared a garden bed for planting! We used different tools in the garden to help us dig and rake. Students also learned about the three particles in soil: sand, silt, and clay. We discussed the living things that are found in healthy soil: fungus, bacteria, and insects! We…