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SLA@Beeber Green Team Meets Steve Ritz, Founder of the Green Bronx Machine

On April 19th, members of SLA@Beeber's Green Team were honored guests at the Stephen Ritz program “Food for a Change: Youth, Schools and Social Entrepreneurship” sponsored by Saint Joseph's University.  Steve Ritz is the founder of the Green Bronx Machine and a renowned educator who transformed the South Bronx by integrating urban farming in the school curriculum.

Students met Steve Ritz in person and even got his autograph! Sophomore Queren V. shared, "I feel so important. I can't believe we got front row seats and everyone is taking pictures of us!" All students were jaw dropped and left the night with amazing ideas of projects they wish to do at SLA@Beeber's urban farm.

Sophomore Kiersten B. shared:
"Steve Ritz's talk was eye-opening to me. Everywhere in this city, I see the remarkable effects people have on their environment. I've become conditioned to accept sidewalks being treated like landfills; I'm accustomed to concrete playgrounds and occasionally seeing houseplants. More often than not, I hear about the detrimental ways in which we're destroying the world around us. Yet, the before-and-after photos of the rooftop gardens amazed me. They allowed me to see a profoundly positive example of people interacting with their environment. Seeing a cityscape covered in greenery made the idea of a city seem less invasive-- as if, somehow, people can live comfortably without leaving Earth around them barren. I like to think that, one day, all cities will look that way. The entire talk served as a pleasant reminder that I don't have to be a passive player in my environment; the way my city looks is up to the all of the people who live in it, including me."

Let's Grow!

Photo Credit: Dr. Brent Smith from St. Joseph's University: