Rialto students were busy getting their hands dirty to offer up a nearby community some clean eating options.
Students from Rialto High visited the Huerta Del Valle Community Garden in Ontario recently to help garden managers Maria Alonso and Arthur Levine with their vision of providing healthy produce and a gathering space for their community.
With shovels in hand, students got to work on projects that included building a rain capture system that collects rainwater from the roof of the garden’s greenhouse to help recycle water throughout the garden. They also helped compost a truckload of food waste collected from area schools and local businesses, planted fruit trees and conducted an insect inventory to monitor the health of the garden.
The projects were made possible through the Inland Empire Resource Conservation District, a special district tasked with preserving and managing natural resources within San Bernardino County, as part of its SLEWS program — Student and Landowner Education and Watershed Stewardship.
As part of the program, students visit a site at least twice throughout the year to perform field work, learn about conservation topics, and work alongside mentors, who are experts in the field of conservation, to explore future school and job opportunities in the fields of agriculture and resource conservation, according to an IERCD news release.
SLEWS was developed by the Center for Land-Based Learning to provide habitat restoration activities for landowners and offer students hands-on resource conservation experience. The program is in its second year at the IERCD and is the only organization in Southern California offering the conservation-focused program.