On October 27, 2016, a group of NYBG’s Board of Trustees and friends gathered to celebrate the 60th year of the Children’s Gardening Program with the groundbreaking ceremony for the Edible Academy complex. This special celebration marked the beginning of a new era at NYBG. When completed, the Edible Academy, the centerpiece of which is the Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden, will revolutionize and enhance NYBG’s garden-based educational programs and offer life-changing opportunities to children from the Bronx and Greater New York City.
Together, the Edible Academy and the Family Garden bring plenty of fun for adults and kids alike, with cooking demonstrations in the Whole Foods Market® Family Garden Kitchen; daily, hands-on gardening activities and programs presented in conjunction with Garden friend and chef extraordinaire, Mario Batali.
Contribute to the Edible Academy ahead of its opening in June 2018 and support garden education for thousands of kids, parents, and teachers!
In the White House Kitchen Garden
Joining First Lady Michelle Obama in celebration of the fifth anniversary of her Let’s Move program, two lucky Family Garden students had the chance to put their gardening skills to work in the famed White House Kitchen Garden.
Visualizing the Future of The Edible Academy
The new complex will host many exceptional features, focusing on energy conservation, sustainability, and first-class education facilities.
A free-standing Solar Pavilion located at the southern end of the Family Garden, and next to the planting areas, will provide a comfortable shaded gathering space for school lunch, special programs, and classes. Solar panels on the roof of the pavilion will capture energy to help power the facility and offset our energy usage.
Designed to seat 300, the Terraced Lawn Amphitheater will comprise a stepped terrace to be sited in the grassy, sloped area north of the Family Garden. With open views, this new outdoor venue can offer large-scale cooking demonstrations, music performances, and other public programming.
The semi-circular Event Lawn, a site for special events and the general enjoyment of our visitors, will be surrounded by glorious vegetable display gardens, full of seasonal plantings.
The heart of this project will be a LEED Gold-certified environmentally sustainable model green building with cutting-edge technology, a green roof, porous pavements, and geothermal heat.
The Overlook Pavilion, creating a front porch for the Edible Academy with a deck overlooking the Bronx River, will accommodate educational programs, cooking demonstrations in the adjacent smart classroom, and seated outdoor dinners.
The plantings of the Meadow Garden will attract beneficial insects, providing a habitat for necessary pollinators and predators of pests. Hosting a palette of native plants, among others, and an authentic wigwam, lessons in plant and animal interactions will take advantage of this area.
Connected to the classrooms and with maximum sun exposure, along with temperature control and a shading system, the Teaching Greenhouse will serve as a potting and propagation area as well as a child-friendly teaching space.
The building will include two high-tech classrooms with interactive SMARTboards. Each classroom will be able to accommodate 25–30 adults or 32 children with 5 adult chaperones and will offer year-round edible gardening programs and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education activities related to growing and cooking.
At Home in the Family Garden
Take a look inside the Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden, where daily children’s activities range from tending the many vegetable beds to learning about healthy eating and where our food comes from.
Centerpiece of The Edible Academy
As the central features of the future Edible Academy, the Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden serves thousands of children, parents, and teachers throughout much of the year, embodying the core ideals that have inspired the Edible Academy’s creation.
Read the latest edition of the Edible Academy Newsletter.
Leadership support for the Edible Academy and the Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden is provided by:
Mr. and Mrs. Coleman P. Burke
Amy Goldman Fowler, Ph.D.
The Goergen Foundation
Lillian Goldman Charitable Trust
Robert F. Gossett, Jr.
Susan E. Lynch
Stavros Niarchos Foundation
Mr. and Mrs. Charles M. Royce
Caroline A. Wamsler, Ph.D. and DeWayne N. Phillips
Anonymous family friend of NYBG
Larry E. Condon and John J. Hoffee
Cleveland H. Dodge Foundation
Institute of Museum and Library Services
Jill and Alan Rappaport Family
Phyllis and Howard Schwartz Philanthropic Fund
Kate Solomon and David Wasserman
Wallace Genetic Foundation
Leadership support for the Edible Academy is provided by:
The Mayor of New York City and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs
Speaker of the New York City Council and Members of the Bronx Delegation of the New York City Council
New York State Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie and Members of the Bronx Delegation of the State Assembly
New York State Senator Jeffrey D. Klein
Corporate support is provided by:
Newman’s Own Foundation
Whole Foods Market®