By Carla Zanoni
UPPER MANHATTAN — Students at several Manhattan schools are preparing for some serious gardening this spring after learning they were among 29 schools chosen to receive grants for a citywide gardening initiative.
Muscota New School & Amistad Dual Language School and MS 328 Manhattan Middle School for Scientific Inquiry each received up to $2,000 in grants from GrowNYC and the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City, to expand the school gardens, which already serve as ecological study program for students.
The schools were two of eight Manhattan schools to receive funding for existing or new programs at the schools, including LaGuardia Arts High School, on the Upper West Side; PS 3 John Melser Charrette School in Greenwich Village; PS 11 William T. Harris School in Chelsea; PS 37 River East Elementary School in East Harlem; PS 110 Florence Nightingale on the Lower East Side; and PS 347 American Sign Language and English Lower School in Gramercy Park.
Margaret Peeler, PTA president at the Muscota School in Inwood, said the school planned to use the money to make repairs and buy new plants for the garden shared by Muscota and sister school Amistad.
"We are thrilled to get the grant," she said, noting the funding would also benefit the parents who will be invited to take part in a family gardening day in May.
According to the program site, the Grow to Learn program plans to dole out grant money to public school recipients twice a year to ensure that "every New York City public school student has the opportunity to get their hands into the soil — and learn and grow."