RBA's Lorri Nelson co-instructs the Edison Schoolhouse Garden Project

Edison students preparing their own supper, with help from RBA architect/landscape architect and Schoolhouse Garden instructor Lorri Nelson

This summer 4J's Edison Elementary School claimed a corner of their playground to create a school garden. Through a collaborative relationship between the UO Service Learning Program and Edison’s K-5 students, the Edison Schoolhouse Garden project provides students with unique opportunities that combine both hands-on learning and critical thinking. 

RBA's Lorri Nelson, along with Robin Seloover are the UO faculty members overseeing the garden. As a part of the class, they grow produce to sell back to the school kitchen and partner with organizations, like First Place Family Center, who can benefit from and receive local produce.

Nelson and Seloover are veterans to the service/community garden concept as they started the Courthouse Garden project in 2010. This project was a partnership with the UO Department of Landscape Architecture and the Federal Re-entry Program which provided inmates a way to re-enter society while also giving UO Landscape architecture students practical experience. In January, they received a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Award for their efforts with the Courthouse Garden project sponsored by the UO Office of Equity and Inclusion.

The main curriculum focuses of the Schoolhouse Garden include hunger and food insecurity, sustainable food practices, food justice, nutrition and ecology. Important lessons in science, math language arts, and social studies are brought outside of the classroom and into a "garden learning lab" that inform ways in which each person can have a positive impact on the community at large.  

Click here for more information on the UO Service Learning Garden project.