GARDEN TRAIN WILL HOST THE FIRST ANNUAL BROOKLYN SCHOOL GARDENS CRAWL
09/19/2018

Garden Train, the District 15 School Gardens Consortium, will host the 1st Annual Brooklyn School Gardens Crawl on Saturday, September 29.

Online PR News – 19-September-2018 – Brooklyn, New York – Garden Train, the District 15 School Gardens Consortium, will host the 1st Annual Brooklyn School Gardens Crawl on Saturday, September 29. The Crawl, which is produced in partnership with Grow to Learn, is one day of the year when participating schools open up the gates of the school gardens and welcome in neighbors. The purpose of the Crawl is to foster a sense of partnership between schools and community and celebrate our school gardens with a day of free, family-friendly activities. Participating schools are located throughout the district from Red Hook to Kensington: PS 15, PS 29, PS 32, PS 39, PS 133, PS 146, PS 154, PS 230, PS 295, and PS 372.

"Teaching students about nutrition and healthy food options from an early age is critical, and involving them in every part of the process — from seed to harvest — is a wonderful way to educate students on the importance of making healthy food choices," said Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza. "I'm excited for students, families, and staff participating in the District 15 Garden Train, and hope it can serve as an example for communities across the City."

Community activist and "godmother of urban gardening and farming" Karen Washington said, "The best way to foster the future of agriculture is getting children involved in their food system. If you look at the history of agriculture in urban cities, it was school gardens at the turn of the 20th century that emphasized physical activity and civic learning. Today's school gardens do more. They teach students about culture and the significance of growing food. Knowing where your food comes from is one thing, knowing the impact food has on our health and environment is important as well. I am honored to be this year's keynote speaker, to be able to tell my story on the importance of growing food and eating healthy to the next generation of eaters."

BROOKLYN SCHOOL GARDENS CRAWL SCHEDULE OF EVENTS ON SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 29:

9 to 9:45 am: Kickoff at Old Stone House in Park Slope, 336 3rd St.
Featured speaker: Karen Washington, activist and farmer

Brief remarks from our community and school leaders:
District 15 Superintendent Anita Skop
Councilmember Brad Lander
Assemblymember Robert Carroll
Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon
CEC15 member and District 15 parent, Mark Bisard
School Gardens Manager for Grow to Learn, Arielle Hartman

Bagels and coffee will be provided by our event's host, Old Stone House & Washington Park

10 am to 2 pm: The 1st Annual Brooklyn School Gardens Crawl!
The public is welcome to visit one or all of the participating school gardens for free family activities. Participants who visit three or more gardens will be eligible for prizes. The following schools welcome you to visit their gardens, which will each have special activities planned from 10 am to 2 pm. More details about the Crawl, including links to a route map, printable School Gardens "passport" and schedules for each of the participating schools' activities will be posted at gardentrain.wixsite.com/gardentrain/programs.

Participating school gardens:
PS 15*, 71 Sullivan St. in Red Hook
PS 29*, 425 Henry St. in Cobble Hill
PS 32, 317 Hoyt St. in Carroll Gardens (Enter main entrance of school to access roof garden)
PS 39*, 417 6th Ave. in Park Slope (Garden is located in the schoolyard)
PS 133*, 610 Baltic St. in Gowanus
PS 146*, Rapelye St. between Henry and Hicks
PS 154*, 1625 11th Ave. in Windsor Terrace
PS 230*, 425 McDonald Ave. in Kensington
PS 295*, Det. Joseph Mayrose Park at 17th St. and Calder Pl., just off Prospect Ave. in South Slope
PS 372, Denton Pl and 1st St. in Gowanus
*Denotes full wheelchair accessibility

3:15 to 4:30 pm: After Party at Old Stone House's North Garden
We'll celebrate the end of the Crawl with snacks and refreshments provided by our partner Grow to Learn, prizes presented by our sponsors and entertainment from our talented friends of Garden Train. School Gardens Crawl participants who visit three or more participating school gardens and get their School Gardens Passport stamped (the Passport is available on our website and will be handed out at our kickoff and at the participating schools) will be eligible for prizes at the party. The After Party will feature entertainment by Singer-Songwriter-Guitarist Jason Reischel, who is also a community organizer and an advocate of our public schools. We'll also get moving in the garden with a family yoga session led by Amanda Sidran, Amanda Sidran, District 15 parent and yoga teacher who offers classes at Yogis and Yoginis, Prema Yoga Brooklyn, and Karma Kids Yoga.

"I'm so excited to attend the 1st Annual Brooklyn School Gardens Crawl hosted by Garden Train. The Crawl is a great way for neighbors to build community and celebrate the many wonderful school gardens we have in District 15," said Council Member Brad Lander. "School gardens offer so many benefits for our kids. They teach them about the environment, improve their sense of community and collaboration, and promote a healthy lifestyle. I hope families from across the district will join the Crawl and enjoy the many family-friendly activities throughout the day. Huge thanks to Kathy Park Price and the entire Community Education Council for District 15 for putting it all together."  

Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon said, "School gardens encourage students to work together; they build understanding, empathy, and communication. These gardens teach kids how to cooperate with others, and provide opportunities to interact with nature. I am proud of the work that Garden Train is doing to support school gardens and build community, and I thank them for giving us the opportunity to visit all of District 15's gardens on their first annual Garden Crawl."

"Brooklyn Public Library is delighted to support District 15's School Gardens Crawl," said BPL President and CEO Linda E. Johnson. "We've seen firsthand how transformative gardens can be. The storytelling garden at Park Slope Library is one of our most beautiful and busiest spaces. We look forward to welcoming our friends and neighbors to the Library's backyard on September 29 to read, play and explore."

"Grow to Learn's work has always centered on two core goals: strengthening communities and providing high quality, garden-based hands-on learning opportunities for teachers and students in NYC. Garden Train has been revolutionary in bringing together schools and local community partners in District 15 to share resources and create new opportunities that benefit all involved, creating a stronger school gardening community, said Arielle Hartman, Manager of School Gardens, Grow to Learn. "We're so proud to be a part of Garden Train and are excited to see how this seed of an idea will grow and flourish."

District 15 Superintendent Anita Skop said, "School gardens are truly unique and offer important learning opportunities for all students. Not only do they provide hands on experiences in an array of sciences and other curriculum areas, they enable all of our children to understand the processes of life and the need to nurture growth. This encourages empathy and caring and a respect for all living things."

Sponsors of the Brooklyn School Gardens Crawl include: Brooklyn Public Library, Community Education Council District 15, Gowanus Canal Conservancy, New Yorkers for Parks, NYC Compost Project, Transportation Alternatives and Zero Waste Schools.

Launched on November 27, 2017, Garden Train is New York City's first and only districtwide school gardens network. Created with support from Grow to Learn, Garden Train would like to help other districts to form similar networks. The mission of Garden Train, which was founded by CEC15 Co-Vice President Kathy Park Price with the backing of her CEC15 colleagues, is to grow community and strengthen ties among school garden leaders as well as between schools and community. District 15 includes Boerum Hill, Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Fort Greene, Gowanus, Kensington, Park Slope, Sunset Park and Red Hook. Visit gardentrain.wixsite.com/gardentrain for more information.