Trinfo Partnership with Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy Brings Bee-keeping Project to Community Garden
During the spring semester, Trinfo embarked on a new collaboration with a science class and after-school club at the Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy (HMTCA) that links to Trinfo’s community garden. Jared Lewis, the HMTCA teacher leading the class and club, has been beekeeping for a few years now, but in much smaller scale. The students in the original pilot developed a business model where they would harvest the honey and sell it in small bottles to raise funds for the project. Now with the additional colony, the club is doubling the size of the program and subsequently their harvest.
The genesis of the program was a response to the nation-wide bee die off. While estimates vary in the direct impact bees have on pollinating our food supply, no one doubts their importance, nor their necessity. The project is not only an opportunity to have a local response to the bee population decline, but an example of community-based learning that brings science to life for these teens. The bees not only pollinate Trinfo’s garden, but have a range of several hundred meters and will help pollinate other community gardens, as well as flowers throughout the neighborhood.
The bee hives are a wonderful addition to the garden. We hope to deepen the partnership by involving Trinity faculty and students through community learning classes and directly with the Biology and Environmental Sciences departments. Trinfo hopes to broker these internal connections, along with colleagues Robert Cotto, Trinity liaison to HMTCA, and Jamie McPike, the new associate director of the Community Learning Initiative (CLI).
Developing partnerships is central to Trinfo’s mission as a conduit linking the city to the College. While bridging the digital divide remains Trinfo’s core mission, our evolution as a broader community space continues to yield opportunities for engagement activities that transforms student learning.