A partnership between Penn State Master Gardeners and local schools and organizations continues to have an impact on the community.

Here’s more on the ways that students and residents are benefiting from these community gardens.

Master Gardeners continue to work with partners like Emmaus Soup Kitchen and Erie’s public schools.

For several years, Penn State Master Gardeners have worked with community organizations and Erie’s Public Schools to establish community gardens.

Local legislators and community leaders toured gardens at several city locations on Tuesday to spread awareness.

This includes a student-maintained garden at Pfeiffer Burleigh Elementary School.

“It’s really exciting to take a little seed and put it in the ground and walk past it a few months later and see a huge flower, or pick a carrot, or pick a snap pea. It’s just really rewarding to put in the work and get to have something delicious or see something beautiful that other people appreciate too,” said Stephanie Ciner, School Gardener at Erie’s Public Schools.

Ciner said the Gardening Club gives students the opportunity to learn about healthy eating and allows them to connect with nature in a hands-on way.

“It’s a nice change from sitting at a computer or looking at a phone, and it’s also a chance to connect with other people in our neighborhoods and in our communities,” said Ciner.

One teacher at Pfeiffer Burleigh said that he witnesses first hand how other children benefit from having a garden at the school.

“They go outside. They go to learn different things and they also get to be with their friends. So I think this club is awesome for the students, just pretty much opening a door to something new to learn,” said Malike Brinson, Teacher at Pfeiffer Burleigh Elementary School.

Other community gardens include the Neighborhood Art Center and the Emmaus Soup Kitchen.

The fresh produce from that comes from the garden is available to those who visit the food pantry.

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Several Benedictine sisters and master gardeners said it is great that inner city residents have access to fresh vegetables at Emmaus Soup Kitchen.