First School Garden Planted on Park Land More than 100 Years Ago
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., May 13, 2013—River City Scholars Charter Academy and Oakdale Gardens Park shared a dual ceremony on Monday, May 13, to dedicate the school and park to the surrounding community.
River City Scholars Principal Amena Moiz said, “This year is just the start of our journey as we work to build a strong foundation for River City Scholars Charter Academy to grow so we can impact the lives of thousands of children in the years to come.”
The school opened in September of 2012 serving students in young 5s through fifth grade. It will add a grade for the next three years to offer students an elementary and middle school education in one building.
Dr. Jermone Glenn, River City Scholars School Board President, said, “By providing a foundation of strong academics, values, and virtues, River City Scholars Charter Academy will inspire an attitude of life-long learning.”
Students released butterflies and sang a song entitled “River City Springtime” to celebrate the school’s dedication. Earlier this month, the students planted vegetable seeds in the school’s garden which is located right next to the community garden in Oakdale Gardens Park.
Oakdale Neighbors member Joan Huyser-Honig said the park land first became a school garden shortly after Oakdale School opened more than 100 years ago. “I hope that now, as then, the school and garden will become positive neighborhood gathering spots,” she said. “I hope they’ll be beautiful, safe, and clean places where all feel welcome.”
The school fence was lined with white pieces of paper that held notes from River City Scholars students displaying their wish for the future of Oakdale Gardens Park.
“Just as we are planting seeds in young minds that will grow into a lifetime of successful learning inside River City, outside, the Oakdale Gardens Park provides a real-life text book about the wonders of the outdoors,” Moiz said.