The New York Botanical Garden is currently raising funds for a new facility that will expand its gardening education.
The Botanical Garden’s proposed facility, the Edible Academy, which was originally conceived in 2012, will aim to address childhood obesity and teach healthy eating habits to NYC students and their families.
The Edible Academy, which is expected to be a leading garden-based education platform once it is completed, will provide hands-on activities and interactive programs that will help students, their families and their teachers learn more about growing and preparing healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables and herbs, in a garden setting.
Upon its completion, the Edible Academy, which includes the Edible Academy Complex, will allow the NYBG to increase the number of people served annually by its edible gardening educational programs, from 50,000 to over 100,000, provide facilities and educators with a broadened suite of educational programs, integrate NYBG’s local outreach programs such as Bronx Green-Up and offer new NYBG-based education for garden volunteers.
The Edible Academy will also expand the Family Garden from spring and summer to year round.
In addition, the complex, which incorporates the Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden, will include two ‘smart’ classrooms, a teaching greenhouse, an innovative green roof, a 300-seat amphitheater and a solar pavilion.
“This is a great opportunity to spread awareness on healthy eating habits and to tackle childhood obesity in NYC, especially in the Bronx, which is among the highest rates regarding obesity in the country,” said Nick Leshi, director of public relations for NYBG. “This new facility will provide students and their families with the tools and the knowledge to lead healthier lifestyles, and we are thrilled that we’ve received great support on this project.”
“By investing in our children’s health and wellness from an early age, we are providing a solid foundation for the future and improving health outcomes for generations of New Yorkers,” said Senator Jeff Klein, who allocated $1.5 million in funding which will go toward the construction of the new campus.
NYBG is expected to break ground on the Edible Academy in the fall of 2016.
Construction of the facility is expected to be completed in the spring of 2018.
Of the $26 million in funding needed to complete the project, $19 million has been secured to date.