Portland Public Schools
Portland, Oregon

Franklin High School

Home of the Quakers

5405 SE Woodward | Portland, OR 97206
Phone: (503) 916-5140 | Fax: (503) 916-2694

Franklin Food and Learning Gardens....fhs.food.gardens@gmail.com

Gardening bridges and builds community 

The SUN Garden Club is open to all students enrolled in SUN, and meets Thursdays, (not Wednesdays), from 3:30 pm until 4:30 pm, with Leigh Brown Life Skills teacher, in collaboration with the Step Up Program gardening class led by Jesse Gardner that meets Thursdays, 3:30-5:30 pm.  Adult volunteers assist both gardening groups.  Free suppers are available in the cafeteria from 3:00 to 3:30 pm to all SUN club participants. 




Franklin Food and Learning Gardens


Broad-based community support

Through the inspiration and initial organizing of a Franklin High School student encouraging other students and adults who shared a part of this dream but needed her pulling us all together, we now have many and growing numbers of students, staff, community members, community partners, and more distant businesses and nonprofits  enthusiastically supporting our student-initiated diverse types of gardens and multi-phase garden projects and garden-based education for all students at Franklin.  And some of the Franklin community, in turn, are preparing to develop a national model program with dual college/high school credit, website, and resource center, to help high schools across the US and Canada implement excellent school food and learning gardens.  The enthusiastic stakeholder support for sustainability with food and water and for building community is what has led to our partnerships with many other businesses and nonprofits to have twelve solar panels on Franklin, etc.  And it is why we have begun plans for integrating college credit courses and certificate programs related to sustainability leadership, horticulture and  foods development, etc. 


Proof  of progress is in the numbers

Since May 2011, we've had :

·         10 student-initiated garden work parties

·         with over 9,000 volunteer hours,

·         the support of over 26 businesses,

·         support from over 6 nonprofits, with cross-fertilization with many more groups,

·         100%  of  the food or materials or equipment donated or loaned with a market value over $10,000.

·          And our community partners, supporters, and volunteers. keep multiplying.

·         We used 28 donated wheelbarrows, 10 donated wagons, and two dollies.

·         We used 6 pick-ups for 4 cubic yards of soil and tools, 1 moving van of donated plants and tools, and 4 trailers a total of nine times for yard debris and manure

·         The November 11 garden work party we had 12 large pizzas, 50 bananas, 2 bags of apples, 2 bags of baby carrots, 1 shopping cart  filled with baked goods, 1 gallon of hot cocoa, 6 jugs of apple juice, 10 pounds of gummy worms, etc.

·         Our garden coordinator had over 60 hours of instruction for school garden coordinators, permaculture garden designers and educators, and countless hours of reading and research.

·         Nov. 11 in 4 hours about 40 mostly student volunteers shoveled and hauled 2 dumptrucks of chipped  ranches, 1 trailer of fresh horse manure, 2 bags of chicken manure, 2 dump trucks and 2 pick-up trucks of leaves, 2 carloads of hay and straw, 2 cubic yards of soil compost.

·         Our winter cover crop green mulch planted Nov. 11 hat Daniel Farah of Full Range Landscaping will rototill next spring so we can plant vegetables and perennial fruit bushes, vines, and other food plants is already over 4 inches high.

·         We've had at least 10 garden planning meetings generating more student-driven and community-driven garden projects and more volunteers and resources.


We started four gardens in the westside courtyard to be used by all students/classes, misc. clubs

Along the SE 53rd Ave walkway, south of the teachers' westside parking lot, east of the shop buildings and janitorial rooms, south of the choir room, north of the art room, and west of the special ed science room.)  These are conveniently close to the:

·         foods classroom for fresh organic ingredients and flowers/garnishes

·         science classrooms for hands-on learning and research projects,  includingthe science instruments and software for which we are applying for grants, the practical experiences with the National Science Foundation grant FHS received and the Portland State University student in the Sustainability Leadership Education graduate program working with FHS environmental science teacher Meghan Whisnand, and much more. Chemistry teacher Merrit Dalton is the adviser with AP English teacher and Advanced Scholars coordinator Susan Bartley for the student Compost Club that collects lunch and SUN supper food waste  (and maybe later, the food waste from extracurricular events on campus) to compost for our gardens. 

·         life skills classroom using the westside courtyard gardens and classroom container gardens future gardens out their window facing SE Woodward for learning skills in gardening , cooking and preserving garden produce, laundering garden gloves and items, budgeting, shopping and using public transit, and communicating about garden projects.  All Franklin students of all levels and types of learning will be welcome for the Wednesday afternoon student Garden Club advised by Leigh Brown, also using this classroom for  learning basic outdoor and indoor gardening and making and preserving food and for making beauty products from the garden harvests,  via the SUN (Schools Uniting Neighborhoods) site.

·         SUN (Schools Uniting Neighborhoods) site office  with Multnomah County, Portland Public Schools, and Portland Impact for lunchtime and after school programs using the gardens and later evening community programs about local and global issues addressed  using the gardens, such as the student Garden Club with Leigh Brown adviser, and potential Native American Native Plants Sciences and Arts Club , etc.

·         The Step Up program to help 8th graders transition to FHS and to prevent 9th and 10th graders from being too discouraged or dropping out, includes a Franklin Garden Team member Jesse Gardener who was the garden club teacher at Roosevelt High School and with the Open Meadows program,

·         Wood shop and metal shop where Compost Club students  are now building a compost bin for the gardens with the support of woodshop teacher Charles Landers, longtime advocate and philanthropist for raised gardens for special ed students.  In the past the woods and metal shop made the park benches, such as the one in the westside courtyard.  Students have suggested potential projects for FHS students and PCC and other adult ed students using the shop could include outdoor bulletins, nature trail plant ID signs, the eco-roof information kiosk and outdoor art display, cold frame cloches, benches, all-weather easels, assist in building raised beds/platforms for students in wheelchairs,  and garden signage, and to fabricate steel splash guards and drying racks for the stainless steel commercial sinks and sink storage shed with potential swing-up  roof for the sidewalk or roll-up  wall, shelves for the tool storage, grenn house tables, etc.

·         Medically-fragile students' nursing classroom, for which students, staff, and community members want a wheelchair ramp from the north wing towards the west parking lot with easy access to the westside courtyard gardens for raised garden beds and tables with extending shelves for garden therapy along the east side of the SE 53rd Ave paved walkway.

·         Down the hall from the library and resource rooms with Sandra Childs, media specialist, who taught social studies at Franklin for 17 years, using the theme of food to teach global/local issues, and who mentioned being willing to share her rethinking global studies curriculum and linking us with rethinking schools guru and former FHS teacher Bill Bigelow who is open to helping FHS develop or collect curriculum that can be used in and on the Franklin Food and Learning Gardens, especially regarding  civil rights and public health issues for farm, nursery, food  manufacturing, factory farms, and fast food workers and what this teaches us about gobal movements and solutions today. 

·         The art classroom has a northern light with windows looking north to the memorial art garden that students this October built in the shape of an artisti's paint palette, with the pretend paint blobs in a modified color wheel with stepping stones and pots painted for the school color, colors of the rainbow, and the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, indicating our celebration of diversity and welcoming all students and our celebration of life.    The pots would be light-weight and sturdy to carry potted plants inside for live-drawing and live-painting and have plants that could withstand the cold winter in pots and warm classroom.  The stepping stones that students scrubbed and cleaned Dec. 14 are now drying in her kiln room. Flowers and plants are planted  in wedges corresponding to the colors, and in the center are taller plants used for dyes, art fibers, perfumes or pot potpourris and so on.  The art teacher Char Simmons plans to have students make garden art, design garden metal sculpture that can be fabricated by guest artists and maybe the metal shop, and to make all-weather garden ceramics with  a guest ceramic garden artists whose price can be covered halfway by a local nonprofit.  We hope to have all-weather easels for live drawing and live painting, and to start a garden photo art album and video collection on line, with a potential of publishing student artists, scientists, poets, writers, and models or inteviewees for an art book fund raiser.