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West Middle Garden Grows Skills And Community Partnerships

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On Binghamton's West Side, the school and community are working together on a special project. After months of hard work, the West Middle School garden is officially open.

"We can combine science and nature and art and just really build a community and teach the kids skills," says Tessa Pozzi-Morgan, Collaborative Coach at West Middle School.

Students were involved in every aspect of the process, from constructing the raised beds to planting the crops.

"I planted carrots over there and then I planted watermelon," says Albert Garcia, a 6th grade student.

Besides the agricultural lessons, the students also got to let their artistic side shine. Students and west side neighbors pieced together a mosaic on the back wall of the garden, led by local artist Emily Jablon.

"We've spent the last four months, Tuesday and Thursday after school, creating this mosaic that you see behind me," says Jablon, "We made it out of lots of pieces of glass tile."

Pozzi-Morgan says the space can be used by classes and clubs, as well as community members who want to help out. It's a school-community partnership that will continue as the garden grows, with plans to expand and donate crops throughout the community.