Carthay Environmental Studies Magnet is a public elementary school located in the heart of Los Angeles. In 2006, a transformation began -- asphalt was removed and the school community built a big, beautiful edible garden on the campus. This project brought the community together in support of the school and inspired the school to adopt an environmental focus -- it was revolutionary!
The garden is also home to five curious hens (Jersey, Mary, Lady, Pearl, and Tzeidl) and an aquaponics system that hosts a small assortment of fish (koi, goldfish, mosquito fish, and blue tilapia). These animals are an important and favorite part of the garden for many students.
The campus is currently closed for five and a half months due to COVID-19 and summer break, but families (while practicing social distancing and safety protocols) continue to maintain the gardens, care for the animals, and purchase feed and supplementals for the five hens and fish. To keep all of this afloat, maintenance funds are very much in need to purchase supplies and keep the garden growing! Please consider making a small donation today to sustain this wonderful community resource and to ensure that it is thriving and ready to welcome the 350 wonderful students when they return to school.
About Carthay Enivironmental Studies Magnet:
Located in central Los Angeles, Carthay Environmental Studies Magnet is a Title 1, ETK-5th grade public school and is one of only two LAUSD environmental studies elementary schools with a garden program among more than 1,100 schools within the district. Carthay draws many families who live outside of the school’s boundaries and travel from all over the city, including underserved areas. Carthay’s student families are as diverse as Los Angeles: 43% Hispanic; 26% African American; 22% White; 5% Asian; and 3% Filipino. More than half of Carthay students qualify for free/reduced lunch and 18% are English learners. Carthay families speak over a dozen different languages from around the world: Spanish, Punjabi, Filipino, Russian, Farsi, Hindi, Japanese, Amharic, Armenian, German, Korean, Hebrew and Rumanian.
Carthay’s gardens are an integral part of the school's identity and a centerpiece of our environmental studies program. Students participate in the entire garden growth cycle: planting seeds, nurturing the plants as they grow, and finally harvesting and eating the fruits and vegetables. This not only expands their own tastes and access to fresh produce, it also helps them draw connections between how food is grown and the importance of caring for our environment.