The HPCG programming subcommittee runs horticultural programming in two New Rochelle public schools, Trinity Elementary and Barnard Early Childhood Center. Grants from the New Rochelle Fund for Educational Excellence ($1,000) and Westchester County ($10,000) provide for this programming. Our garden educators are retired teachers who have taught series on seeds, vegetable gardening and propagation and have installed raised garden beds. We are working with Trinity Elementary staff and administration to create a multi-year series of garden programming that runs from first grade through fifth grade. The horticultural programming greatly enhances the curriculum of these students who hail from low income homes; 62% of Trinity students and 51% of Barnard students receive free or reduced lunch.
We host a popular series of FREE yoga sessions that coincide with the summer concerts. We have also hosted gardening seminars given by Cornell Cooperative Master Gardeners at the New Rochelle Public Library.
Our group has hosted Hudson Park cleanup events with Monroe College and LAZ Parking, We have hosted pumpkin painting during NRCA’s ArtsFest for the last two years. We have collaborated with Ward Acres and Lincoln Park Community Gardens in distributing Canna plants.
Once established, we will host education programs in our greenhouse and perhaps also to have a demonstration garden plot. In the past the Hudson Park greenhouses were used for horticultural therapy sessions to promote wellness for the special needs students of the nearby Hallen School, and we hope to bring back that program. We are looking to educate people of all ages and backgrounds, with an emphasis on children. Previously the greenhouses contained a collection of succulent plants and orchids. We hope to bring back similar collections.