Bridgeport Elementary Community Garden

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The Bridgeport Elementary Community Garden was established in 2016 with a combination of hard work and vision by a dedicated group of teachers, parents, and community volunteers. The garden has been cultivating good things ever since. 

The garden is now fully equipped with 18 irrigated raised beds. We grow zucchini, tomatillos, green beans, potatoes, squash, lettuce, peas, tomatoes, carrots, beets, basil, sage, mint, kale, chard, peppers, sunflowers, onions, & garlic with the help of our partners at Neighbors Nourishing Communities who provide 70% of our seeds. In just 5 years the garden has produced over 2600 pounds of food that have been donated to Packed with Pride, Tualatin School House Pantry, and the Backpack Program and offered to students at the school cafeteria on the garden tasting table.

The garden’s mission is to provide hands-on real life garden/environmental science experiences in an outdoor setting to the students at Bridgeport Elementary and to provide fresh healthy produce to our community members who experience food insecurities. To carry out its mission the garden relies on modest fundraising efforts, generous donations, and grants to carry out its good work. Some of our past donors include: The Home Depot, Conrad Lumber, Lowes, New Seasons, Costco, Bi-Mart, Penelope Mangum and Girl Scout troop 10689, and Eagle Scouts: Liam, Whitt, Quinn Thompson, and Lucas Williams. 

A small but mighty crew of teachers and parent volunteers continue to keep the garden growing. We have also welcomed work crews from local businesses (such as New Seasons) to help us with projects like building and staining the fence and spreading gravel. 

Our students are active in the garden, too. They help grow garden starts in their classrooms each year for a spring Garden Start Sale and they learn about and participate in all aspects of the garden in our garden after school club. 

We have community garden beds for rent as well as an adopt-a-plot program that runs through the summer and allows for our school and community members to reap and share the bounty from our harvest in exchange for their work weeding and maintaining beds. 

We are very excited about our 2022 goals which include growing 650 pounds of food to donate to our community and continuing to shepherd the final permitting and building of our 960 square foot greenhouse. 

A greenhouse of this size is as unique as it is awesome to find at an elementary school community garden. We are deeply grateful to Chad Darby from Neighbors Nourishing Communities, who helped us secure the $30,00 in grant funds from Grinnell College to make the greenhouse dream a reality. Once the greenhouse is built, it will accommodate a full classroom as well as support us growing crops for donation as well as sales to help continue to fund the garden. 

Come get your fingers dirty with us! We’d love to have you join our efforts. We seek volunteers to serve on the Garden Committee’s executive board including: social media chair, event planner, fundraising coordinator, after school garden club leader, and summer care coordinator. Contact bridgeportelementarypto@gmail.com for more details. 

Do you or someone you know want to support the good work we are doing at the Bridgeport Elementary Garden with a financial or in-kind donation? We are currently raising funds for and/or seeking donations for our general fund as well as specifically to help us pay for an 8×12 shed. To donate contact bridgeportelementarypto@gmail.com.  

We are also eager to connect companies with paid volunteer hours and gift matching programs. Please contact bridgeportelementarypto@gmail.com for more details. 

The Bridgeport Garden Committee would not be possible without the time and talents of some amazing people. Our thanks to Jessie Chaney, Maria Reed, Meghan Pfieffer-Hoyt, and Miriam Marx (Bridgeport Elementary teachers) and Leah Findtner, Robert Kellogg, Jamie Flicker, Matt Borgman, the Hannam family, the Madrigal family, the Curtis family, and Maxine Chaney (Bridgeport Elementary parents) for your hard work and dedication. 

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and her partner of 18 years have built a life in Tualatin where they pride themselves on a balance of exploring the abundance of both the natural world and the box-stores. Beth is a proud mom of two children, ages 9 and 5. Their family enjoys biking, hiking and dance partiest. Beth’s business, Beth Dittman Coaching and Consulting, LLC., began in 2015 when she transitioned from her work as an educator and administrator in higher education and into private practice. She now supports a wide variety of clients in their development of organizational systems, navigation of transitions, and integration of wellness and efficiency habits into daily life. Beth can be reached at beth.dittman@gmail.com.