The Edible Peace Patch Garden

View photos of the garden | View video of the garden

The Edible Schoolyard

Just ten minutes from our campus, Lakewood Elementary School hosts one of Eckerd College's most unique classrooms. Here, professor Kent "Kip" Curtis, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, has helped Eckerd College students turn their interest in growing organic food into an innovative approach to elementary science and sustainable nutrition education.

For the past three years, The Edible Peace Patch Garden has operated as a cooperative program between Eckerd College Environmental Studies and Lakewood Elementary School.  More than a dozen Eckerd College students have collaborated with the Lakewood science coordinator to develop and implement a standards-based elementary science curriculum.   As of the spring of 2011, Eckerd students had developed lesson plans for K-5 elementary science, adjusted to the appropriate cognitive levels of the students and aligned with Florida State Sunshine Standards.  During the 2011-2012 school year, students will begin developing lessons for math and reading.

During the 2010-2011 school year, The Edible Peace Patch Garden added a nutrition component, working with a graduate student, Sarah Tucker, from the University of Mississippi School of Education to develop a Wellness Kitchen in which Lakewood students harvested garden produce and then prepared nutritious snacks and meals.  During the 2011-2012 school year, led by Eckerd Alum Kaylie Birdsall (Eckerd ’10), Eckerd College volunteers will begin operating this kitchen and continuing to develop lessons.

“Eckerd students inspired me to put this project together and they continue to be an inspiration as coordinators and volunteers," Professor Curtis says of the project. "They have shown their commitment to sustainability, healthy food systems, and community service through this project and truly bring the values of Eckerd College into St. Petersburg."

Since January 2009 more than 150 Eckerd College students have volunteered in The Edible Peace Patch Garden.  During 2010-2011 we were also joined by several ASPEC volunteers.  Participants have been blogging about their progress since the project began. For photo updates and regular posts, visit The Edible Schoolyard page.

The Edible Schoolyard

Media Coverage

Peace Patch Takes Shape at Sanderlin
The Gabber
January 25, 2012

Edible Peace Patch to Bloom at Sanderlin Elementary School
I Love the 'Burg
January 20, 2012

Edible Peace Patch Project opens new garden at local elementary school
New Roots News
January 20, 2012

Urban Gardening Movement Growing in St. Petersburg, Florida
St. Petersburg Times
December 4, 2011

The Peace Patch: a Sustainable Garden at Lakewood Elementary
New Roots News
December 8, 2010

Lakewood Elementary, Eckerd College harmonize with garden
St. Petersburg Times
April 26, 2009

Students learn about organic gardening In St. Pete
WMNF 88.5 fm
March 6, 2009

Tampa Bay area schoolyards produce hands-on lessons in their gardens
St. Petersburg Times
February 8, 2009

The Edible Schoolyard