ARHS garden: nurtured by and for the community

This fall is fifth year that Algonquin Regional High School’s garden is successfully growing vegetables, herbs and flowers.

For a garden to thrive during the school year, it has to be nurtured when school is out of session. So, over the summer, district students and Northborough residents worked to keep the garden thriving.

The payoff is a garden that yields produce for ARHS culinary classes and the cafeteria. Extra produce over the summer was also shared with Northborough’s Senior Center and garden volunteers.

The project is partially run by ARHS Family & Consumer Science Teacher, Susan Halpin. However, there are a lot of other volunteers and contributors involved.

Through grand funding, they were able to hire a Garden Coordinator to manage the summer efforts. According to Halpert, Josh Richardson had “great ideas to make the garden look nicer and make it more accessible.”

Another key element was a partnership with the Community Action Program (CAP) to coordinate the “Mornings in the ARHS Garden” program.

Each Tuesday morning during July and August, 46 volunteers took turns planting, watering, weeding, and harvesting. Volunteers represented:

  • CAP
  • Northborough Seniors
  • ARHS National Honor Society
  • Trottier Middle School
  • ARHS Environmental Club
  • ARHS summer program

The school also teamed with the Northborough Recreation Department to use the garden for a two week summer cooking and gardening camp for students in Grades 3 through 5.

Halpert is hoping to continue expanding community involvement to spur environmental consciousness. Anyone interested can email Susan Halpin at to learn more. 

Photo: ARHS teacher working with Northborough Seniors to maintain the garden over the summer. (Contributed photo)

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