Enrich La created a garden at Lexington Avenue Primary Center.
4564 Lexington Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90029
For the past 2 weeks, the students at Lexington have planted new plants! We planted foods such as arugula, kale, green beans, and chard. All the kids were so excited to get to add new plants to the garden. They loved getting their hands dirty and they loved filling up the watering pots so they could water their plants. Afterwards, we ate seeds as snacks. The students tried sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and peanuts! Surprisingly, most of the kids actually liked the pumpkin seeds and kept asking for more!
I had the chance to drop by Lexington Avenue Primary School this afternoon. It was so great to see Rachelle in the garden with her students. They planted tons of seeds for our next planting cycle. Check ‘em out!
Rachelle, and the Feel Good crew are doing a great job. Look at how happy these plants are!
Every Thursday and Friday, UCLA students from the organization FeelGood, pair up with EnrichLA and act as garden stewards at Lexington and Alta Loma Elementary school.
This past week, we explored the different parts of a plant- the roots, stem, leaves, flower, fruit, and seeds and tried to guess what each part of the plant each fruit or vegetable was. It was very cool to see that almost all the kids knew that avocados would be classified as a fruit because they had a seed. Also, the kids were very surprised to learn that broccoli is actually the flower of a plant!
After cutting up the jicama, oranges, and grape fruits, we let each kid spear one piece of each fruit with a toothpick to make a fruit kabob! Surprisingly, most kids liked the jicama and didn’t like the grape fruit. Also, almost all the kids knew that oranges carried Vitamin C in them!
On a temperate February morning, eighteen Azusa Pacific University students arrived at Lexington Primary School to help re-landscape the garden. It’s an understatement to say that this was back-breaking work. Despite that, they brought wonderful energy, enthusiasm and work ethic.
The winter veggies, the outdoor kitchen and the nearby purple orchid trees looked great but the soil didn’t. An odd combination of silt, peat and clay don’t allow water to drain thoroughly and percolate into our aquifers.
After three hours, we had used nearly every tool in the trailer. The evidence? A slew of dirty pick axes, shovels, sledge hammers, hoes, rakes, buckets, wheelbarrows and more!
Rather than fighting the excess water, we embraced it! We mimicked nature by creating a rock creek bed and a bioswale. Next week we will add riparian plants along the creek bed.
A snapshot of the work from the day…
And the awesome crew.
In Spring at the end of the day you should smell like dirt. — Margaret Atwood
Luckily in LA it feels like spring year round… which allows us to smell like dirt year round. This new scent, since volunteering with Enrich LA, has positively changed my attitude.
The designer jeans I’ve cherished, the uncreased shirts I’ve worn to office meetings.. the apres ski boots — they’re all demolished by Enrich LA’s nonstop garden building efforts and it’s sooo worth it.
It’s funny when an energy larger than your worldly possession captures you!
Check out the friendly faces of Lexington Primary Center as they plant their new garden with Laura, our super volunteer.
Students aged 3-8 had a blast last Wednesday planting lettuce, spinach, kale, swiss chard, etc.
Soon they’ll be able to pick salad ingredients right from their school garden!
“Such gardens are not made by singing:-‘Oh, how beautiful,’ and sitting in the shade.” – Rudyard Kipling
I couldn’t have said it better myself. The word “garden” evokes a serene and shaded refuge with lush vegetation and leisure time to spare. EnrichLA, however, is in the business of building gardens, which is an entirely different concept. So many schools in this iconically urban area are firmly enveloped in a layer of asphalt and concrete.
Because of this, EnrichLA’s goal to put a garden in every LA school oftentimes begins from zero, namely finding the soil under the asphalt. The entire building process is, frankly, hard work. Everything from installing sprinkler systems to constructing outdoor kitchens is done by volunteers.
Don’t be daunted though. An hour with a personal trainer will definitely cost more than an hour of shoveling soil with EnrichLA, and you’ll be just as exhausted afterwards. Who needs a gym? More importantly, there are few things as rewarding than the looks of anticipation on the students’ faces as the edible garden gradually takes form. They notice and they care.
What if these kids got snacks from fruit trees instead of vending machines? What would happen to obesity rates if every child had easy access to fresh vegetables at school? Obesity is the great public health issue for this generation of children. This organization is getting the work done that will make an impact.
Volunteering with EnrichLA has been an enormously rewarding experience for me. The people are wonderful, the work is satisfying, and we are making a difference. Come break a sweat with us!
THANK YOU so much Team Northridge RAs! Who knew Resident Advisors could be such hardworking people! Just kidding. Obviously, you guys ROCKED IT today & we can’t thank you enough for your time & energy!
Can you believe how much we accomplished in 4 hours? The kiddies at Lexington Ave Primary Center are going to adore the finished product!
You guys definitely proved yourselves worthy with your mighty contributions so feel free to volunteer at any of our upcoming builds! Kidding again! We know it’s tough work but we totally need dedicated people like you to make it happen. There are 40 schools on the waiting list with our challenging goal to reach all 900 schools in the district.
As a final note, can you cast your votefor EnrichLA to win a $1000 grant? It takes 1 minute & allows 2 schools to have an outdoor kitchen (like the one you guys sanded & sealed today).
Students from Crespi Carmelite High School, 5031 Alonzo Avenue’ Encino, CA 91316 helped us advance the garden at Lexington.
Enrich La will “extreme makeover” an existing broken garden at Lexington Avenue Primary Center.
A Starbucks team is coming to help with the our build at Lexington Avenue Elementary. Thank you Starbucks!
If you know EnrichLA, you know that we NEVER stop! After building, renovating and/or providing garden programming to over 18 schools in 2011, we hit the ground running in 2012.
Below is a list of only SOME of the school gardens we have lined up to build so far in 2012. Visit our volunteer page HERE to join us at one of our many volunteer days!
EnrichLA- A GARDEN IN EVERY SCHOOL
75th Street Elementary School
Clifford Elementary School
Glassell Park Elementary School
Grand View Elementary School
Hesby Oaks School
Hoover Elementary School
Hyde Park Academy
Lexington Ave. Primary Center
Mayberry Elementary School
McKinley Elementary School
Nightingale Middle School
RFK Community Schools
San Fernando Middle School
South Gate Middle School
Woodlawn Elementary School