The Eastside Community Garden at Emerson Elementary School is a shining example of Riverside’s unified spirit working together for the common good of the city as a whole.
On February 23, the Press-Enterprise published a story written by correspondent Kevin Keckeisen about the collaborative effort between Riverside Parks and Recreation Department and Riverside Unified School District. The garden is part of the school district’s Farmers Market Salad Bar program. The following is an excerpt from the story:
Nearly two dozen different crops such as squash, tomatoes, eggplants, lettuce and onions are grown. The produce provides students nutrition at the school salad bar, and some is sent to RUSD Nutrition Services to be centrally prepared and distributed to other schools in the city.
“Kids don’t have the foggiest idea where this stuff comes from. It comes from the grocery store as far as they’re concerned,” said Tony Inaba, caretaker of the garden and Riverside parks commissioner.
Students do most of the planning and weeding, and they observe. They work on the garden once every other week, and so do students with disabilities from North High School. It’s a learning process and part of their curriculum, Inaba said.
The community also has access to the garden. According to the Eastside Community Garden Facebook page, this is the city’s oldest community garden and has been in existence since approximately 1980. In 2004, Emerson Elementary and the City of Riverside Parks and Recreation Services Department joined forces. Since then, the operation has won national attention for it’s ‘garden to salad bar’ participation by the Emerson Elementary students five years in a row.
Click here to read the full story as published in the Press-Enterprise.
For more information on the garden, visit the group’s Facebook page.