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Updated: May 9

At Cloud 9, we are introducing students to green careers and community roles.

The Gratz Garden Group (G3)

At Cloud 9, we know our programs are successful when community members deepen connections to the natural environment and food system, and whenever green space in Philadelphia expands. This year over twenty students at Simon Gratz Mastery Charter High School’s Gratz Garden Group (G3) exemplified this commitment to our vision by learning gardening skills, deepening their understanding of urban environmental issues, and exploring new ways to access healthy fresh foods.

“My background in environmental things were limited until I joined the gardening club” – Gratz Student

Skill Development

At Cloud 9, we are introducing students to green careers and community roles. The USDA is expecting a nationwide 20% increase in fields related to food, agriculture, renewable resources and the environment. With more efforts, like the City’s First Urban Agriculture Plan, being put into Philadelphia’s Urban Agriculture community, developing students to be part of this community by utilizing their leadership, growing, weeding, teaching, and leadership skills has never been more important.

“.… in gardening club we do a lot of teamwork whether it be planting or watering the plants or just planning on when to plant different plants.” – Gratz Student

Healthy Habits

At Cloud 9, we teach students the importance of healthy eating and nutrition. Every G3 meeting is opened with a healthy snack. As harvests are ready, they are used as snack-ingredients, so students can taste the fruits of their labor. Benefits of nutrients present in the days’ snacks are highlighted as students reflect on the flavors. Cloud 9 staff work with students to share these snacks and develop recipes highlighting garden produce, which makes it easier for students to see how easy healthy eating can be when the ingredients are grown in your school.

“On February 28, 2019 the gardening team planted many flowers and foods that we can eat such as basil and dianthus flowers. We also harvested our lettuce that can be used to create a salad, wraps or anything you can think of”

Urban Agriculture Leaders

After demonstrating everything we teach and build on students are able to apply their knowledge and skills and encouraged to share what they learn with the world. Check out one student intern’s recipe for Lettuce Tuna Wraps.


6 oz solid white tuna canned in water

1 medium green bell pepper

1/2 whole hot house tomato

1/4 cup green onion chopped

tbsp cilantro chopped

1 tsp nature’s season

1 tsp ground black pepper

1 wedge lemon.

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