Environmental Studies majors nurture vibrant gardens and bright minds

Environmental studies majors Munachiso “Muna” Obiefule and Jack Chen interning with the Garden School Foundation. Photo by Nick Neumann/USC Wrigley Institute.

Just 2.5 miles from USC’s University Park Campus, in the West Adams neighborhood next to Los Angeles’s bustling I-10 freeway, lies an unexpected sight: a thriving one-acre edible garden at the heart of a public elementary school. 

On a recent Monday morning, environmental studies majors Munachiso “Muna” Obiefule and Jack Chen arrived at the school eager to do more than reconnect with nature in the sprawling urban metropolis of Los Angeles. As Garden Education Interns with the Garden School Foundation (GSF), they play an important role in facilitating lessons in environmental stewardship and sustainability for the young students at 24th Street Elementary School.

Established to provide garden-based education to children at Title 1 elementary schools across Los Angeles, GSF began its partnership with 24th Street Elementary School in 2005 with the creation of its flagship garden on the campus grounds. Today, the garden not only boasts a wide assortment of productive fruit trees, vegetable beds, and native plants, but it’s also home to programs that benefit both the environment and local communities. 

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