Monday, June 3, 2013

Charter School + Urban Farm + Environmental Education Center = Awesome

This weekend, for No Child Left Inside's Great Park Pursuit, combined with CT Trails Day, my family ventured down to New Haven to the Common Ground High School, Urban Farm and Environmental Education Center.  Until last week, we had no idea there was a charter high school hidden in the woods in New Haven, or that New Haven even had any woods!

We were not disappointed with our choice of places to visit.  Common Ground was pretty amazing, and a school I would choose to attend if I had the choice.  Or maybe attend as a summer program. Which, by the way, they do offer.  They also have vacation camps, open farm Saturdays, and host special events such as birthday parties.

We enjoyed touring the gardens, hiking the trail to the summit of West Rock Ridge, visiting the chickens, turkey, ducks, goat & sheep, the greenhouses, peeking into the school building, and making our way up to Judges Cave.

I found the hike to be challenging because it was fairly steep, but there were children of all ages hiking along side us, and my little ones thought it was fine.  Plus the view from the top was fabulous.

The youngest in our family very much enjoyed the poultry yard, where she was allowed to pet or pick up any chickens who would allow it.

Meanwhile I was oohing & ahhing over the gardens.  Their market garden supplies the school cafeteria as well as farmer's markets and farm stands.  They use sustainable farming practices like rain barrels and are organic, though not certified organic.

It all equated to a really nice family outing and lots of opportunities to talk about sustainability.  I have a feeling we'll be back with friends for an open farm day and maybe see if we can volunteer to help with something while we're there.      


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