Bayer CropScience joined renowned astronaut Mae Jemison in southeast Raleigh Thursday to announce a new urban revitalization initiative. A big part of the green space near the Brown Birch housing development will be turned into a community garden – thanks to a $600,000 grant from the Bayer USA Foundation.
The funds were awarded to Passage Home. It runs an after school program called Safety Club that is walking distance from the garden project. The money will help promote science, math and STEM education at Safety Club.
Dr. Mae Jemison, the first African American female astronaut, says a garden is a perfect introduction to the sciences.
“We think that we have to have something on a computer when we talk about Science Education, but growing the potato plant in a cup is just incredible for second, third graders and even for high school students depending on what assignments you give them," she says.
Passage Home is scheduled to break ground on the new community garden by early summer.
Jeanne Tedrow, the CEO and co-founder of Passage Home, says they are thankful for the grant to help bolster their work.
“There are places in our community that can prosper if we give them sunlight, if we give them attention, if we give them a little love it’s going to naturally bloom," she says. "And this is what we are going to be able to do here.”