Baltimore Urban Gardening with Students After School Program (BUGS)
The Baltimore Urban Gardening with Students (BUGS) Program works with children from under-served Baltimore City communities throughout the year with an after-school program as well as a summer program. The program's primary goal is to empower and inspire our children to develop academically, creatively, and socially.
The BUGS program serves students from Commodore John Rodgers Elementary and Middle School in East Baltimore. Many of our students reside in public housing and low-income neighborhoods near the Baltimore City Detention Center. These students have little access to green space and few extra-curricular activities available to them. The program engages youth in learning while providing them with a safe and healthy alternative to the streets.
BUGS is a national model program that uses activities such as cooking, gardening, creative arts and movement, and entrepreneurial projects to help increase academic performance in reading and math and improve student behavior. The program provides a dynamic learning environment at Living Classrooms East Harbor campus, with access to vegetable and flower gardens planted by the students, and the only wetlands on Baltimore's Inner Harbor. Our 1:10 instructor/student ratio provides youth with the close attention they need to succeed socially and academically.
Programming at Masonville Cove
Living Classrooms Foundation is working with the Port of Baltimore, the Brooklyn and Curtis Bay Coalition, and the National Aquarium in Baltimore to create and manage the Masonville Cove Environmental Education Center, located on Masonville Cove on the Patapsco River's Middle Branch. This site acts as a gateway to connect underserved individuals and communities to the outdoors and the Chesapeake Bay through environmental education, stewardship activities, and job training programs. Living Classrooms is implementing coordinated school and community outreach programs for the Brooklyn, Curtis Bay, and Cherry Hill communities. This initiative is based on Living Classrooms' successful Meaningful Watershed Environmental Education program, which works with urban youth to understand and prevent the environmental effects of pollution and runoff in their own backyards.
Through the project, students learn about the water cycle, explore the concept of watersheds, learn about their own subwatershed, and employ mapping skills as they locate the storm drains on their school property and in their neighborhoods. Students are also involved in monitoring, protection, and restoration activities such as trash pick-up and recycling. They create and install rain barrels, stencil storm drains, and design and install native garden habitats. As students living near the Middle Branch learn about and help to improve their own neighborhoods, they will become the community's future leaders.
410-246-0669 (MCEEC), 410-355-1100 (Baybrook Coalition)