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Bay Farm Elementary School

Articles: Bay Farm Elementary School

Garden plots and young gardeners at Bay Farm School. Photo: Ethan Bodnar

In the early morning before the schoolyard is filled with activity, there is stillness in the garden. You can check on the plants growing from seed in the greenhouse, watch planes flying overhead from nearby Oakland Airport, and witness pollinators at work in the butterfly garden. Bay Farm School students start arriving from the neighborhood, stashing their bikes in a large bike-parking zone next to the garden.

Bay Farm Elementary School is up for a U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School award in 2016, the only public school in California to be nominated. The school gardening program has been going for about 15 years and is fully funded through the Parent Teacher Association.

Garner, a Bay Farm Elementary garden teacher, carefully plots and plans activities. Photo: Ethan Bodnar

I’m welcomed by Garner, the garden teacher whose name means “harvest.” She’s already spent an hour planning the day at home and mentions that “sometimes things change ove...


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