Since 2011, students have started over 1,000 vegetable, herb and wildflower seedlings indoors, using growing stations they constructed. Seedlings were also planted in a small backyard garden at the Transition House. During the summer, students water, weed and care for a variety of vegetables and flowers. Last fall, they were busy harvesting over 200 pounds of produce which was both donated to local food pantries and sold at the La Grange Farmers Market, where the students share space and a tent with the University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners. You can visit us at the Market on Thursday mornings at the 6th Avenue parking garage.
We developed land adjacent to the Transition House to expand on the success of the Program’s initial efforts. This garden project has been approved and is supported by the Cook County Extension Master Gardener Program. This relationship with the Cook County Extension will foster relationships between the Lyons Township High School Transition Program and the community as a whole. The exposure to gardening, green initiatives, nutrition/healthy living and involvement in the Farmer’s Market is consistent with many of the objectives that Transition students work on for lifelong learning, vocational experience and greater independence.
Given the success of these initial efforts, the Lyons Township High School Board of Education supported our installation of a ¼ acre organic garden just east of the Transition House. The garden includes outdoor classroom space, ADA accessible pathways and raised beds, beautiful wrought iron fencing, six raised vegetable beds, along with decorative shrubbery, flowers and trees.