The International Peace Garden at the Ford School 2008-2015
As of March, 2015, the garden is no longer a ‘community garden’ open to all. In spite of protests from School Committee members Maria Carrasco and Donna Coppola, the Committee turned it into a school garden.
Under the direction of Superintendent Latham, most of the garden was bulldozed. Classrooms, compost bins and the cistern were removed. The garden did not open in 2015, making parents, teachers and children VERY sad and angry.
School gardens have sprung up all over Massachusetts, including Gloucester, Lowell, Boston and Salem. The Ford School garden, from which children won 72 prizes at the Topsfield Fair, is the only garden reduced in size and function. Isn’t it ironic that the garden inspired several Lynn principals to request their own?
Superintendent Latham never asked parents, teachers or students their opinion. She and the School Committee are opposed to community schools, where the school and neighborhood work together to educate whole families and to solve social problems.
The garden was one of twenty-two programs reduced or removed from the school. Shame on the Lynn School Committee. We hope newly-elected Committee members will help to change this top-down and anti-community-school philosophy.
In the words of Horace Mann, the founder of public schools in the United States (beginning in Mass): “A teacher who is attempting to teach without inspiring the pupil with a desire to learn is hammering on cold iron.”
Another quote of his that guides us: “Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.”
Let’s look at what the school garden used to be and how it inspired the teachers and students.
Nick Chum gives a tour of the Ford School garden and his hydroponics system
The Harvest Festival 2010
Did We Mention Award-Winning?
The International Garden
Urban Farming in the Highlands of Lynn
Learn More About the Ford School Garden 2008-2015