Last week, more than 375 Gompers Elementary School students and teachers along with volunteers from the nearby Doubletree Downtown Hotel got down and dirty to transform a courtyard of concrete into a thriving "Made in Michigan" educational garden. Why? The hope is that the garden will teach students the importance of trees and plants, as well as connect them directly with their food source from seed to table.

Doubletree's Detroit Downtown hotel has embarked on a two-year partnership with the students at Gompers Elementary School to teach kids to care about their community, their planet, and their health.  The initiative, is part of Doubletree's Teaching Kids To Care campaign. In Detroit, that means hosting a community garden where kids can help beautify their neighborhoods, plant fruits and veggies, and learn about making these fresh foods part of a healthy lunchtime food revolution at their school.

Now, it's easy enough to throw money back into a community by planting trees or sponsoring a food drive.  And I don't want to diminish these types of campaigns, because they certainly do a lot for the environment.  But Doubletree's initiative really seems to grasp the interconnectedness of the issues that face our environment and our children today.  For the next two years, this garden will get kids out of the classroom and in to the dirt; it will add a little green to the neighborhoods of Detroit; and it will give kids a better understanding of where the food on their plates is coming from.  Well done!

Michigan kids get dirty for the planet
Students from Michigan's Gompers Elementary School learn about nature and nutrition with a community garden.