Martin Luther King Elementary School Garden

Gardening is a powerful way to connect people to the land, living things, and the food we eat. School gardens are known to increase students’ consumption of vegetables, contribute to their physical and mental health, and boost academic achievement.

King Elementary School is a D.C. public school in the Congress Heights neighborhood of Ward 8, serving about 400 students in grades Pre-K through 5. Its garden program began in 2016 as a project of the Ward 8 Farmers Market under the leadership of Nathan Harrington, who went on to found Ward 8 Woods. 

Each growing season (April to November), we engage more than 100 children in garden-based learning. Students plunge their hands into the soil to plant, water, weed, harvest, cook and eat vegetables, fruits, and herbs. Native wildflowers throughout the garden add color and attract bees and butterflies. 

The garden has produced more than 50 pounds of greens, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, tomatoes, peppers, squash, pumpkins and more in each of the last five seasons. This nutritious, organic food is shared among students, parents, teachers, and neighbors. 

The MLK Garden Program is led by respected urban farmer Rondell Pooler, founder of Rooted and Sustained.

Support the King Elementary School Garden Volunteer

Put “MLK Garden” in the memo line: Your donations helps pay Rondell and purchase supplies for the garden.


Volunteers help maintain the garden and lead garden-based lessons. For more  information contact Rondell.

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