Yerba Buena High School

San Jose, CA

Project TERRA (Teaching Environmentally Responsible and Respectful Attitudes) is a garden on the Yerba Buena High School campus. TERRA was created as an outdoor classroom, an organic vegetable garden/orchard, a pollinator garden, a greenhouse, and an  aquaponics garden.  The overall goal of TERRA was to build an innovative classroom where students could learn about environmental stewardship and sustainable urban agriculture leading to healthier food choices and the use of sustainable waste management practices.  Because the school and neighborhood is located in an urban setting with little green and natural spaces, students and families would benefit from eating the fresh and organic produce from the Terra garden.  The plan was to use many of the vegetables in the school cafeteria through a salad bar.

Terra was developed as an integrated project between AVID, Engineering, and Construction programs at the school. The AVID class curriculum included  sustainable agriculture, gardening, and  ecosystem balance.  Engineering Pathway students designed the self-contained aquaponics system and incorporated solar and wind power to run the electrical systems for Terra.  Construction Pathway students designed and built the compost bins, the raised beds, and the garden fence and posts.  Construction students will also design and build the greenhouse.  Working together, these three groups advocated and advertised the project, which has been featured in the Santa Clara Valley Water District blog and on KCBS, KBAY, and ABC new.

The project is not quite at full implementation (due to interruption by Covid19 restrictions), but is expected to be completed in 2021.