Fremont Wellness Center and Community Garden
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In South Los Angeles, there is a 1.5-acre lot filled with bountiful garden beds growing everything from collard greens to kumquats.
On a crisp day in sunny L.A., students from all walks of life are tending to the fresh fruits and colorful veggies. Some are watering newly planted seedlings, while others are gathering jalapeños and kale for the freshest taco ever.
This lot, called the Fremont Wellness Center and Community Garden, is located at the John C. Fremont High School campus, and it also has a small park, a community health clinic, and a soon-to-be-finished 1,500-square-foot greenhouse.
“It’s a big thriving community” says Megan Laird, the garden and youth program manager. And with so many opportunities all in one space, it’s easy to see why.
One reason this green space is flourishing is because of the Gardening Apprenticeship Program, or GAP for short.
“It’s a program where high school youth from the John C. Fremont High School campus can come and participate in a course that trains [them] to become leaders in health, urban agriculture, and civic engagement,” says Laird.
Through a 10-week program in the spring and the fall, the students learn about local and industrial food systems, how food justice affects communities, and how they can turn this knowledge into action within the larger community. And, of course, they learn basic gardening skills and environmental science.
“By the end of the 10 weeks, we feel confident that the youth are familiar with not just how the fruits and vegetables are grown on the site, but what they can do with them moving forward,” adds Laird.