West Liberty School Gardens - 1928

West Liberty School Gardens - 1928

The December 9, 1928 Pittsburgh Press reported that West Liberty Elementary School in Brookline came in second place in the competition for best school garden in the City of Pittsburgh. Woods Run Elementary came in first place, and the third place prize was shared by Fairywood and Lincoln schools. The photos above show a portion of the West Liberty garden and some of the crop.

Approximately fifty students in the West Liberty School took part in the gardening program during the summer and fall months. The school had just obtained permission to garden on a new lot, located across Pioneer Avenue near the school. The new location measured 160 by 140 feet. Due to the hard work and dedication of the students, a crop valued at approximately $528 was harvested. More than 2300 ears of corn were reaped in one week.

Mary J. Harkins was the head teacher at West Liberty Elementary School. She and Professor Joseph F. Moore, principal of the school, led the students in making the surprise effort for a school just entering the contest.

The school garden program, sponsored through the Pittsburgh Playground Association and the Board of Public Education was an initiative to introduce local school children to nature studies and gardening. It all started in 1909 at Brookline Elementary School and soon spread to most Pittsburgh Public Schools. The program ran until the late-1950s.

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