Project Green: Transition Garden

Project GreenHightstown High School students in the East Windsor Regional School District will experience the phrase “Think global, act local” when they develop a permaculture garden called “The Transition Garden.”  The students create the garden with the help of a $10,000 grant from the NJEA Frederick L. Hipp Foundation for Excellence in Education awarded to teachers Gretchen Contreras, William Witherill, Graham Hielwell, Teresa Sullivan, Sherry Klein, and Denise Stoby.

The Outdoor Pavilion of the garden provides shelter for students using the space, but will have the dual purpose of collecting rainwater to be used for the garden. The pavilion’s full Southern exposure presents an opportunity for solar panel installation in the future.

Food harvested from the garden is managed by the Project Green club and utilized by the Culinary Arts classes, offered for sale at the Friday evening community Farmer’s Market, and/or donated to the local food banks.

Wood Shop classes construct the solar dehydrators and benches that are used in the Outdoor Pavilion. Biology students research food producing plants appropriate for the region and maintain the soil for organic growing methods. Each year, biology students start the vegetable garden while the next year’s students harvest the results. Culinary arts students use garden products to learn and practice food preservation methods including solar dehydration.

The Transition Garden serves as a model for other schools and careful records will help other learning communities to go green.

An outdoor space and lots of motivation is what you need to create your own Transition Garden. Read how it's done in the Final Report.

For further information, contact:

Gretchen Contreras
School – (609) 443-7738