Tygard wants Edible Schoolyard for Bellevue Middle

Tuesday, September 8, 2009 at 10:51am
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Metro Councilman Charlie Tygard and his fellow Bellevue trustees have launched a fund-raising effort to bring a so-called Edible Schoolyard to Bellevue Middle School.

The initiative would follow a pilot program started in Berkeley, Calif., by chef and organic food advocate Alice Waters. The Edible Schoolyard puts an organic garden under the care of students, who learn about gardening, healthy living and the science of food.

“It’s sort of the community garden concept, but at a local middle school and the kids plant, harvest and cook the food,” Tygard said. “And it’s all about curriculum that incorporates the garden into math, history and science.”

In July, Tygard and Bellevue leaders Tonya Jones, then-school board member Alan Coverstone and Kelly Hargis took a trip to Berkeley to study Waters’ Edible Schoolyard program. Waters was featured in a 60 Minutes story about her push to fight childhood obesity by promoting healthy eating habits.

Tygard said he didn’t have an estimate for how much it would cost to install the Edible Garden, but acknowledged it would probably require at least a seasonal or part-time staffer to oversee. Tygard also said teachers at Bellevue Middle would be consulted to gauge how the program could be incorporated into the classroom.

The group is starting a fundraising and planning initiative in the coming weeks and has launched a Web site to provide the community with more information.

Tygard said it was his hope that the Bellevue Edible Schoolyard could become a place where students from across the county could visit and study.

The proposal would take a plot of land on the Bellevue Middle property and bring both an organic garden and an “edible kitchen” to the school.

“It’s about growing garlic and then cooking a dish that uses garlic and learning about the benefits it has,” Tygard said.

3 Comments on this post:

By: Mama Butterfly on 9/9/09 at 8:17

I am sure that this is just another political ploy on Tygard's part. For instance, the Bellevue reporter for the Tennessean wrote a couple articles several months ago about Tygard's desire to build a new high school in Bellevue. He stated that he wanted it built on the Hill tract of land; however, he failed to mention that The Friends of Warner Parks have been very publicly raising money to purchase this tract for years now. (This particular tract of land contains an old-growth forest with trees estimated to be 200 years old.) When the Tennessean reporter was notified of this situation, the articles on Tygard's "proposal" suddenly stopped and, as far as I can tell, Tygard has not publicly made another mention of a high school being built on this plot of land since then. It is pretty clear to me that Tygard's only goal in this situation was to build up his political "clout". He had to have known the importance of the Hill tract and been aware of the efforts of The Friends of Warner Parks to purchase it because he has lived in Bellevue for years and was one of Bellevue's Council reps for several years as well. (His most recent term ended in 2007.) So it is pretty clear to me that his sole purpose in proposing a high school on this particular plot of unavailable land was PR.

And let's not forget how Charlie got a bill passed in the Council a few years ago to have an ILLEGAL (per state law) landfill put in the old McCrory rock quarry--the same quarry that some of his developer friends/campaign contributors wanted to purchase. (He advertised the landfill as a "land reclamation project".) Once the community found out about the true purpose of the project, the outcry against the proposal was deafening. Oh yes, and he is still pushing the LED issue in the Council, against the better judgment of countless neighborhood groups and individual citizens.

About the above article, Charlie has done some "favors" for Bellevue Middle School in the past, but if he wants to be a true friend to our community, why is he not providing help to HG Hill Middle School and Hillwood High School--schools for which many of Bellevue's children are zoned? Oh yes, I forgot, Tygard's daughter doesn't work at those schools, just Bellevue Middle.

I am sick and tired of Charlie's disservice to our community and, especially, to Bellevue. When is he going to put the needs of our community above the needs of himself and his developer friends? Besides, he is supposed to represent the entire city now, not just Bellevue. There are many people here in Bellevue who would like nothing more than for him to just leave us alone. The only saving grace about him being elected to an at-large position is that now he has P.O.ed countless people across Nashville with his antics. Maybe now that he has shown his true colors to the entire city he will never be elected to any political position ever again. Here's hoping.

By: govskeptic on 9/9/09 at 9:51

Maybe the proper place would be the mosty vacant
Bellevue Mall property. The garden could be tended
by the Councilmen who get health benefits paid mostly from the taxpayers after only serving a few months in a special bill for Adam Dread sponsored by Mr. Tygard.
A true at large champion of "Special Interest".

By: Mama Butterfly on 9/9/09 at 9:56

Oh, and I can't believe that Charlie Tygard actually went to a bastion of liberalism like Berkeley! I wonder if he went through a thorough decontamination after he got home. I also have a hard time believing he spent his hard-earned money on a plane ticket to the Bay Area--which leaves me wondering who paid for his trip to Berkeley. In addition, Charlie is now seemingly embracing a "tree hugger" cause, yet a few years ago he was pushing through legislation for a landfill that would have 1) violated the State Scenic Rivers act, and 2) very likely leached chemicals into the Harpeth River. Such contradictions further prove to me that his political motivations are questionable, at best.