There has been a significant movement toward improving nutrition within the Los Angeles Unified School District. In fact, the district has begun a program that promotes various fruits and vegetables through their Network for a Healthy California program, heightening student awareness of the benefits of these foods. High school health classes dedicate a four-week unit toward instructing freshman students in habits that promote nutritious living. Lacking in these initiatives is the hands-on interaction that enlivens students’ educational experience.
Sharefest, in its dedication to creative collaboration for positive change, has once again, brought together its wealth of resources to complete the Victory Garden at San Pedro High School, transforming an unused plot of land into an organic, sustainable classroom filled with nutritious foods. Partnering alongside contractors like Cornerstone Construction Group and Living Color Landscapes, caring organizations such as Kaiser Permanente as well as teachers and students from San Pedro High School, Sharefest looks forward to assisting in the completion of a project that will impact the campus and community of San Pedro for years to come.
Its design began as the dream of James Weston, to provide a garden for both students and community members to partake of; participating together in the planting, maintenance, and sharing of the fruits of their labor. Sharefest was invited to provide expertise in the promotion and development of the project and brought in Landscape Designer Karen Collins from Living Color Landscapes to take this dream to the next level. As the project grew, so did the dreams of what it could be. The initial phase of the project was to clear the space, grade the space, and construct the planters. San Pedro High students and members of Cornerstone Construction Group, Dakotah Masonry, and City on a Hill Church came together to successfully complete the project. Phase two pooled the resources of SPHS students and Dakotah Masonry to prepare the space for the laying of pavers on the floor of the garden area.
On Saturday, April 28 the garden will be completed. Much of what will be done in the final phase comes as a result of the generous donation of finances and volunteers by Kaiser Permanente. Crystal Williams, Public Affairs Representative at Kaiser, shares, “Kaiser has a desire to be in our community promoting community interaction, volunteerism, and healthy living. The Victory Garden project brings together these values.”
Principal Jeanette Stevens is appreciative of the project and believes that it will greatly impact the campus. “We are so thankful to Sharefest and Kaiser for their generosity in making this project happen. We are excited to be able to have an amazing space in which our students can take ownership, learn valuable life-lessons, and enjoy.”
The Victory Garden project brings together a partnership of organizations that desires to impact their community in a tangible way. With the combined efforts of Sharefest, Kaiser Permanente, Thrivent Financial, San Pedro High students and teachers, as well as the local church congregations and businesses, what was once a dream will become a reality. The impact that will be made will be generational, as students for years to come will be able to taste the fruit of labor.