May 2013: Egg Harbor City Community School

              New Jersey School Brings HOGs to an Edible Classroom

This is an awesome addition to our school garden!” exclaims Egg Harbor City Community School (EHCCS) principal Jack Griffith about the recent installation of two Rainwater HOG tanks.

EHCCS garden

image via Katie Sementa

Two 50 gallon tanks were installed in March 2013 to capture rainwater for EHCCS’s “edible classroom” – a school garden that students have filled with snow peas, broccoli, lettuce, tomatoes, zucchini, beets, and peppers. One of the special education classes supplemented the veggies with a herb garden of basil, chives, cilantro, parsley, rosemary, sage and thyme that they maintain weekly.

Katie Sementa, Project Director of the 21st Century Community Learning Center – a federally funded program that partners with EHCCS to provide students in low income areas with before and after school care – was instrumental in bringing rainwater harvesting to the school.

She applied for and won a  $1,000 Water Works Grant from the Atlantic Care Foundation for the 4th through 8th graders attending EHCCS.

She explains, “I researched many different options for our school to conserve water and teach the children the importance of water harvesting.  While researching, I came across Rainwater HOG and thought it was an ideal system for our school district and our after school program.”

EHCCS HOGs

image via Katie Sementa

The students, who are already putting the HOGs to work watering their garden with rainwater, will maintain a record of how many gallons the two tanks collect in the eight months out of a year  (from April through early November) that they are in use.

Tree stump seats and tables for outdoor classroom accessibility will be arriving in time for garden bloom and harvest to spruce up an edible classroom that teaches health, wellness, and sustainability. More pictures to come!

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