Communities In Schools strives to surround students with a community support, and this October, our students spent a Saturday giving back to their community.¬†On October 14th, Mt. Tahoma High School students partnered with UW Tacoma’s Day of Caring to build garden beds and plant trees for the Wapato Hills Community Garden.

This collaboration brought together Mt. Tahoma Leader Academy students and UW Tacoma student volunteers. The Leader Academy is a program for students who are interested in learning leadership through service, and this project was their first of the year! Together, the students planted 17 fruit trees and constructed three 450 square foot garden beds–over 1300 square feet of growing space! Though it was hard work, the students enjoyed themselves and got to know one another over the course of the five-hour project.

Not only did the students enjoy their work, they were providing an important service to the community. Wapato Hills Community Garden is located in an area with a relatively high number of low-income households who may have limited access to healthy food. The Community Garden is a space where local residents can grow their own healthy, fresh food. What’s more, the Community Garden Stewards who oversee the garden grow food in the garden to support local food banks.

We are so proud of these students who displayed their leadership by participating in this project, and we look forward to future opportunities to give back to this wonderful community.

A special thank you to UW Tacoma’s Center for Service and Leadership for collaborating with us on this project; to Metro Parks Tacoma for hosting our students; the Tacoma Tool Library for lending extra shovels and gardening tools; and to Jimmy John’s (Hosmer location) for donating lunch for this group of hard workers! Without the support of our partners, this project would not have been possible.