Abingdon, VA, 11/6/14 – Haynesfield Elementary School, Bristol TN will soon begin transforming an un-used courtyard on campus into an outdoor “Learning Landscapes” classroom featuring 2 raised garden beds, a rain barrel water collection system and a vermiculture bin. Underwritten by a local school family, the installation will support the Haynesfield ‘Going Green’ elective series.
Learning Landscapes is a food access program of local non-profit, Appalachian Sustainable Development (ASD). ASD will provide on-site instruction to 3rd and 4th graders who will help design, build, tend and harvest the garden. ASD will also train Haynesfield staff, faculty, PTA and parents to ensure sustainability of the gardens after the first year. Some of the goals of the program include: improved access to fresh, healthy food, increased physical activity, greater understanding of where food comes from, increased desire to consume healthy food and support of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) principals.
Haynesfield Elementary School Principal, Rachel Walk explains, “We’re so excited to be working with ASD on this project. Our plan is to have ASD on-site for about 20 sessions from this November to May of next year. ASD will teach us as much as they can about where food comes from and share their knowledge of successful gardening techniques. They have been doing this work for about 20 years, and we value their expertise and assistance. After this first year, they will move on to help another school and we will take on the responsibility to maintain and sustain our garden program.”
ASD Executive Director, Kathlyn Terry comments, “To help reduce expenses and insure sustainability of the program, we will execute a “train the trainer” model. We work with schools for a year or two, constantly transferring our knowledge and expertise. We work to empower each school to have a successful program that meets their needs and goals, providing support through workshops and additional training assistance as needed.”
In 2015, Appalachian Sustainable Development celebrates 20 years of service in southwest VA and northeast TN. ASD’s mission is grow food, communities and opportunities to build a thriving Appalachia.
ASD operates 10 programs in 3 sectors: sustainable agriculture/food system development, sustainable forestry/wood products and food access. For more information please call ASD at (276)623-1121 or visit www.asdevelop.org.
Contact: Kathyln Terry, Executive Director