The Patrick Henry Downtown Academy school garden was built by architecture students and faculty from the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis. The 10,000 square food garden and green space are utilized as an outdoor classroom. Children and staff come together to learn about the importance of team work. Teachers bring their students to the garden to read, write, reflect, draw, and to add a hands-on approach to their lessons.
The garden has yielded about 300 pounds of fresh produce for a local homeless feeding center and for families at our school. When the students are at school, the staff is encouraged to take the children to the garden to harvest and share the fresh vegetables as an exploration lesson or cooking lesson that will encourage healthy eating.
The garden has improved over the years, with grants from Gateway Greening, which have provided garden tools, more framed in growing beds, mulch, compost, seedlings, and volunteers. The students take great prided in the vegetables they grow as well as the newly added flower bed that is filled in with a variety of milkweed that will help provided a breeding ground for the Monarch butterfly.