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How Urban Rooftop Gardens Can Inspire Generations
10 October, 2017

How Urban Rooftop Gardens Can Inspire Generations

At Horace Mann Elementary School in D.C. third graders meet on the school’s rooftop garden every Monday morning to harvest produce. Their hard work will pay off later that day — what they pick, clean and chop will be served in the cafeteria at lunch to students interested in trying the day’s fresh offerings.  Amy Jagodnik has been the school’s garden coordinator since 2004, when her children were students there.  Students are given different jobs on a rotation, so they will all have the opportunity to plant, pick, wash, chop and even help to serve. The program goals are to teach children to care about their environment, and to be interested in eating healthy. With programs like these in schools, Amy says, “You’re laying the foundation for global stewards.”

Commercial grade garden towers on the roof were part of the design plan when the school was renovated three years ago.  “The connection to the exterior is not an accident in this design. A lot of these young kids, when they grow up, rooftop gardens are going to be very common as far as sustainability and urban living. Why not prepare them?” said Michael Marshall, MMD Design Principal.  The garden was one of several sustainability initiatives that were part of the modernization effort at the school, resulting in the school being awarded with a LEED Gold certification in 2017.

On October 2, WTOP’s Living Editor, Rachel Nania, visited Horace Mann to see the rooftop garden in action and to interview both Marshall and Jagodnik.

Read her article