Building School Gardens Since 2011
EnrichLA Executive Director and co-founder Tomas O’Grady built his first garden at Thomas Starr King Middle School in 2011 with an accompanying educational garden program and quickly discovered how it benefited the lives of students, staff and the surrounding community. The need for garden education throughout the greater Los Angeles area and the success at King Middle School led EnrichLA to be founded with the motto: “A Garden in Every School.” In the past seven years, EnrichLA has built over 125 gardens at schools across LA. Each garden has transformed its community through increased student involvement and improved aesthetics, improving morale and promoting healthy living.
With over 130 gardens built and a weekly educational Garden Ranger Program at 96 of these schools, EnrichLA connects over 40,000 students a year to the source of their food. EnrichLA reaches over 10x as many schools as the next largest organization in LA. In fact, EnrichLA has the largest garden education program specific to one city in the US. In the last two years, EnrichLA has also become the fasting-expanding garden education program in the nation, and we have no intention of slowing down.
Much of our growth is thanks to our team of active parent volunteers that help with maintenance, coordinate events, organize additional volunteers, and help extend our program’s impact beyond the classroom. EnrichLA was recognized by the LA Board of Education with an "Appreciation Award" for our commitment to the overall educational well-being. EnrichLA has also received a “Community Award” from the Associated Administrators of LA, and an “Appreciation Award” from the LA City Council President.