Located in a city where nearly half of all school-aged children have been estimated to be obese, the chain-link fence at Twin Lakes Elementary wasn’t helping anyone in Hialeah with their diet. It was merely a fence.
And then someone planted a seed that grew into a vine that climbed ever-so-slowly across the steel links, producing passion fruit and attracting caterpillars that turn into butterflies. Nearby, in a courtyard that was once off-limits to students, lies a garden where bok choy, collard greens, chives, and other fruits, herbs and vegetables grow.
“We have all this land at the school that before was grass and now it’s a classroom. It feeds the school,” said Eduardo Recinos, an art teacher who leads Twin Lakes’ garden program. “The fence now is teaching about butterflies, where it used to just be a fence.”