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Community garden breaks ground at Ridgeway Elementary

Jacob Fenston

Today gardeners broke ground on Columbia's newest community garden. The plot of land at Ridgeway Elementary is the city's first community garden located at a public school.

This morning, the sprawling lawn at Ridgeway elementary was perfectly manicured, until fourth grader Erin Robinson jabbed a shovel into the neatly mowed grass.

"I look forward to gardening and planting foods for people in need, and for lunch maybe."

The new garden will have about 25 to 30 plots. They will be available to neighbors in the community. Teachers will use them as a learning tool, said Ridgeway principal Ben Tilley:

"It is part of our science curriculum, and we frequently look for great ways to engage students in activities they can write about or draw about or read further about. So this is a great way to engage students in reading and writing and math and science."

He says after tilling the soil they'll plant a first crop including squash and corn.