Children can learn valuable information about environmental sustainability, biology, and healthy food from local gardening initiatives. However, it can be difficult to provide these opportunities to students in urban areas. In cities like New York, natural green spaces are scarce. School resources and funding may also be limited. Instead, organizations must get creative! Many grassroots organizations have worked to provide opportunities for students to garden in newly built rooftop spaces, and also gain a better understanding about opportunities in existing parks.
In cities like New York where grassy areas are rare and livestock are nowhere to be seen, it is not uncommon for students to be absolutely clueless about where food comes from. Too frequently, students can’t identify basic plants in their natural form, or have no idea that they can grow certain foods on their own. Lack of nutritional foods can lead to unhealthy habits in children and teens, and gardening provides a way to prevent this, as well as the opportunity to learn about science, math, and culture. New York has many opportunities for implementing innovative techniques like rooftop gardening and hydroponic technology. The existing parks and green spaces in New York can also be used to educate students.