Trinfo Partnership with Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy Brings Bee-keeping Project to Community Garden

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.hmtca-beekeepers-at-trinfo-2

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.

By Carlos Espinosa, Director of Trinfo.Cafe.  Reprinted with permission from Urban Planet, Trinity College.

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