The Los Angeles Rams started 2017 with a special visit to Carthay Center for January's Rams Staff Day of Service. At the event, the Rams front office staff helped clean up the Garden of Possibilities, a privately funded garden project run by parents, volunteers and students at Carthay School of Environmental Studies Magnet.
Staff members helped with the various gardening and beautification projects to help repair damage caused by the recent rain. In addition to tending to fruit and vegetable plots, sweeping up fallen branches and leaves, and feeding the garden's three chickens, staff members were also able to learn about the aquaponics garden project, which was created by Jon Armstrong, a Carthay School parent. The aquaponics garden is used to teach children at the school about hydroponics, which is the growing of vegetables without soil, and aquaculture, the raising of edible fish.
Started in 2006 by parents and the Friends of Carthay booster-club, Carthay's Garden of Possibilities is a privately funded, 5,000 square foot area on the school grounds. In addition to seeking donations and grants, the parent volunteers also sell the vegetables and fruits that are grown in the garden to raise funds for the garden's operational costs and projects that are used to teach students at Carthay School about gardening, sustainability and the environment.
"Carthay School of Environmental Studies Magnet is a high poverty, Title 1 LAUSD elementary school," explained Armstrong. "In 2014, Carthay became an Environmental Studies Magnet, the only one of its kind in LAUSD, combining the sciences and the humanities in an educational program centered on society and the environment. Maintenance and upkeep is an ongoing need to sustain the garden space, and we rely heavily on volunteers to keep the garden vibrant and healthy. The Rams staff were an incredibly enthusiastic group of volunteers who completed many essential tasks to help with the upkeep of Carthay's garden areas."
Each month, the Rams front office staff takes time out of the office to volunteer with local non-profits. Since the program's inception in 2009, the Rams staff has provided more than 12,000 hours of community service.