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LBCC Horticulture Club Helps Rebuild Elementary School Garden

The Long Beach City College Horticulture Club and student volunteers have helped renovate and revitalize a garden at Lincoln Elementary School, which celebrated the project with a re-opening ceremony May 16.

Since September, LBCC Horticulture Club students have been working as volunteers alongside Lincoln staff, students and others to revitalize the 16-year-old garden, said Brian Hastie, Vocational Instructional Technician in LBCC's Horticulture Department. The approximate 3,000-square-foot garden now has an automated irrigation system, eight new 4 foot by 8 foot beds with vegetables, herbs, flowers, native plants, milkweed to feed monarch butterflies, and a new fence, in addition to some existing fruit trees.

LBCC’s Horticulture Dept. has a longstanding relationship with Lincoln Elementary, which is located in a low-income area of Long Beach’s Cambodia Town neighborhood, near LBCC’s Pacific Coast Campus.

The department joined the renovation effort after learning that the school garden had fallen into disrepair after years of neglect. The Horticulture Club applied for, and was awarded, an $8,000 LBCC Pepsi Auxiliary Grant that helped fund the garden's renovation.

“[Without LBCC,] I don’t think the garden would exist,” said Mary Blackburn, a volunteer garden teacher at Lincoln’s after-school program. “It would have been very difficult for us to continue had the Club and Brian not stepped in. We were in great need of renovation, and we didn’t have any prospects for doing that.”

Blackburn and the Lincoln teachers use the garden to teach the elementary school students about gardening, insects and pollination, worms, irrigation, healthy food sources and nutrition, and the local native Tongva culture.

The LBCC volunteers also learned a lot working with Blackburn and Hastie, and said they enjoyed engaging with the young students in the garden, which is located on the corner of 11th Street and Orange Avenue.

“It was rewarding to see children excited about gardening and wanting to do activities in the garden,” said LBCC student Danielle Nakagi, a Plant Science major and Horticulture Club member.

“It’s important for the kids to have these garden experiences,” Hastie said. “The biggest thing is that these LB Unified students interact with LBCC students and see that LBCC is a great place.”

Even though the renovation project is done, LBCC will continue to work on the Lincoln garden, Hastie said.

“We plan on being a resource for the garden and any activities we can plan together with the students,” Hastie said. “A garden teaches a lot of lessons, and they’re not all about gardening.”




For more information, please contact the Office of Communications at (562) 938-4353 or (562) 938-4846. For media inquiries, please call (562) 938-4004.
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LBCC Horticulture Club Helps Rebuild Elementary School Garden