We are expanding our educational programming into the University Blvd area close to downtown Jacksonville, working in partnership with European Street Café and Shakti Life Kitchen to obtain permitting and develop a community garden and outdoor educational space called “Mary’s Garden.”
This area is an under-served location and we have found great local interest and support. From this location we hope to diversify our group of educators, parents, and students in an intentional and organic way by attracting families who do not live in or are not able to travel to the far north end of the beaches where our other programming is held.
This educational space will feature up to 5 pavilions and a working biodynamic garden and greenspace. Our vision is to grow this space into an edible garden that will be a natural extension of our philosophy and the hands-on learning already offered in the Beaches Area.
The garden will serve as a learning environment for specific science lessons depending on the grade level of the students. Once the garden is established, JEC plans to add additional programs to involve the larger community more deeply by offering afterschool gardening and healthy eating programs for children in local public schools.
The next few years will be focused on outside funding and grants. We have already applied for a Whole Kids Grant in the amount of $3,000 to help purchase garden components such as toolshed, greenhouse, and seeds and seedlings as well as support Master Gardener training.
Shakti Life is donating up to $54,000 to cover engineering and architectural costs for the entire site as well as the construction of the first pavilion, which will be used as a model for further fundraising.
European Street is donating the use of the land with the exception of utility costs.
Our board is working with Dig-Local in a mentorship arrangement for fundraising opportunities.
We hope that we can gain more community support for finishing the garden and building all of the educational classrooms. You can donate HERE
MARY'S GARDEN PROGRAMS
Children's Programing & Homeschool Enrichment Classes:
Mommy & Me Mornings
Movement & Yoga
After School Gardening
Healthy Eating Classes
Community Garden Weekends:
Plays and Performances
Garden to Table dinners (in collaboration with Shakti Life Kitchen)
Teacher Training Workshops
“If we want our children to move mountains, we first have to let them get out of their chairs.”
~ Nicolette Sowder
This is the site drawing of Mary's Garden. Our concept includes a fenced in green space with five covered pavilions and a biodynamic garden.
Please contact us if you'd like to see more detail or hear more about this exciting project!
We are looking for community support to sponsor the cost of pavilions and the fence, and volunteers to assist with the creation of the garden space.
Please see our GIVING page for more details on how you can help, or contact our Board at firstname.lastname@example.org