Project partners TVHS, RPI and Troy school
|A group of TVHS students identify various layers of soil in a vacant lot on Sixth Avenue in Troy.|
|Thomas Clark of Wynantskill wheels supplies along Sixth Avenue in Troy to a vacant lot.|
Tech Valley High School gorged
themselves on knowledge Sept. 20 while walking the streets and
digging in vacant lots of North Troy as part of a healthy food
Divided into two groups, the freshmen visited stores and restaurants where food is sold to determine the availability of healthy food options while anther group dug into the soil of several vacant lots to determine the potential for growing healthy food.
The work was part of the first ever "Community Security Food Assessment" of North Troy, which TVHS students are conducting in partnership with RPI University and Troy's School 1.
"This is an amazing project for the students to be involved in and to generate real world data that can be used to improve the lives of the people of Troy," said teacher Leah Penniman.
Going from establishment to establishment, the students recorded the presence of various types of food and looked for fresh fruits, vegetables and other healthy items, as well as determined whether they were cost prohibitive.
Meanwhile, the remainder of the students gathered soil samples in vacant lots, gauged soil permeability, determined what types of soil were present, what inhibitors to sun light were there and other factors that need to be considered when growing fresh crops.
"This is a fun, hands-on project," said Alexus Negron, who attends TVHS from Troy.
"It's a lot better than any projects I have ever done before and the information we gather will be used to help people, so that's really cool," added Kaila Schnoop from Hoosick Falls.
The students were asked to gather the information by the Collard City Growers, a community group in the city.
"We know a lot of people in that section of the city are not getting health foods to eat, but we don't know exactly why or the best action to take to make our community healthier," said the request.
"This is an exciting way for the students to work with others on a project that has a worthwhile result — developing ways to ensure healthier food options for those who live in an urban setting," said Penniman.
Students will work on the project over the coming weeks and present their findings at a Story Harvest event planned by the Collard City Growers on Oct. 20.