(Oakland, CA)- The local non-profit Oakland Landscape Committee received funding from ACTrees to develop a Community Groves℠ project planting fruit and shade trees at school and community gardens located at East Oakland PRIDE Elementary School and Aspire College Academy.
BUILDING THE TEAM
Lesson: Public School Cooperation
Support from ACTrees for this project allowed Oakland Landscape Committee to expand multiple partnerships across the city, including relationships with:
• Two schools
• Multiple suppliers of trees including both ornamental trees and fruit trees
• Keep Oakland Beautiful Advisory Board that helped bring in many volunteers to help with tree planting and building more planter boxes
• Youth Uprising organization and the County of Alameda Probation Department Weekend Training Academy that provided at risk youth to help with tree planting and site prep work
• Berkeley Project that had UC Berkeley student volunteers helping with planting
• A supplier of tree bark that discounted bark to help mulch new trees that were planted
• The Home Depot store representatives that provided Team Depot store volunteers and helped in securing a $10,000 grant from the Regional Home Depot Foundation representative
• School staff and parent volunteers at the two schools that helped with garden development and maintenance tasks and coordination
• Emerging Professionals Group of the local chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects that provided three volunteer landscape designers to help with design work on the school garden and a master plan for landscaping and new garden features on the school grounds that was presented to Oakland Unified School District Administrators for potential future enhancements and funding
• Western Growers Association that provided a $1500 grant to help at Aspire College Academy to complete work on developing school gardens, automating the irrigation system and adding several hundred ornamental shrubs, perennial plants and groundcover plants to help bin landscaping new garden areas in the school grounds
• A local tool rental agency that provided 50% discounts on tool rentals
• A local landscape contractor and irrigation specialist who helped with site prep, irrigation systems, asphalt removal, planting, garden design and development, and volunteer supervision.
PLANNING AND IMPLEMENTATION
Lesson: Pest Control
The Oakland Landscape Committee and gardening staff of the Oakland Unified School District will address ongoing pest control needs as they arise. Parents at the schools with substantial background in agriculture are also helping with pest control in the garden at East Oakland PRIDE Elementary.
Lesson: Education and Community Engagement and Harvest
Fruit tree planting and planting of berry plants such as blueberries, raspberries and gojiberries was not the initial focus of the Community Groves project, but Oakland Landscape Committee organizers were able to separately obtain donations of a variety of fruit trees and berry plants and to purchase more berry plants as additional features of the school gardens. They work with parent volunteers at East Oakland PRIDE that are doing an exceptional job of maintaining the ornamental and fruiting plants in the school gardens, and the main garden is right next to the Parent Involvement portable classroom where the Parent Involvement Coordinator on staff involves parents in maintenance tasks and makes use of fruits and vegetables from the garden in working with parents and children at the school. At Aspire College Academy, the Science Teacher is helping to launch the school garden with plantings of vegetable plants and the Building Manager with a landscape horticulture background will be helping with care for the fruit trees and berry plants in the new school garden.
Learn more about Community Groves℠.