Twin Cities Academy

  • Serves students in grades 6-12
  • Partners with several organizations
  • Uses rain barrels to help in watering
  • Have both a garden and an outdoor learning center
  • The entire garden is surrounded by a fence
  • Uses both raised garden beds and farm crop area for growing
  • Garden tied to school curriculum

More details...

Over the years, students at Twin Cities Academy have voiced the desire of having a peaceful and beautiful space outside where they can learn how to grow food and work on outdoor projects. In 2015, their high school’s environmental club made it a top priority, knowing that they were moving into their very own school building where space was available for a garden. Their garden has three main areas: a farm crop area (about 1/3 of the garden space) that includes 4’ x 6’ raised beds used to grow produce and herbs. The second garden space is utilized as an outdoor classroom and research site. The third space includes fruit trees, native plants and plants that attract pollinators, such as bees and butterflies. These garden sites provide innumerable opportunities for learning. Their entire 6-12 grade science team met regularly to discuss the garden plans in order to ensure that the garden would fit in with their curriculum. TCA has a strong service-learning program where they teach students about specific issues that they care about and then connect them to a service project. The garden provides ample opportunities for students who want to learn more about urban food systems, food justice, and environmental sustainability. They try to use every opportunity they can during the process of starting their garden to engage students and allow them to be a central part of the process while learning along the way. In summer months, their community partner, Urban Roots, uses the garden as a site for their summer gardening program. This program hires youth from St. Paul to work and learn in urban gardens. Rebuilding Together Twin Cities, helped them connect with corporations that want to help fund and build special projects, such as the seating area in the outdoor classroom and the gate around the farm crop area. Their garden is sustainable because it is embedded in their science curriculum both middle and high school. It has the added support of their environmental club, their service-learning program, as well as Urban Roots.