New East L.A. school garden takes root on a rooftop

Photos courtesy KIPP Raíces Academy

Who says a garden has to be planted in the ground? When it came time to plant their  school garden, the staff and students at Kipp Raíces Academy headed for the rooftop parking deck  of the former East Los Angeles auto dealership.  The roof, which is reached by a wide ramp,  is also used for physical education classes. After La Causa, a local youth-activist group, provided some prep work last week, Cub and Girl Scouts from KIPP Raíces Academy spent Saturday morning planting the school’s first garden and painting a mural on the roof.

“This will hopefully be a beautiful and beneficial collaboration of East Side groups to better the lives of our students and families,” said Suzanne Karnatz with Kipp.


  1. Are they using straight bagged potting soil for those raised beds? Thy had better plan on completely replacing that substrate about every two years.

  2. Nice project for the kids!

  3. We mixed the dirt with vermiculite and mulch, so hopefully it should work for a while.

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