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Meeting Bryan Slade From Amigos de los Rios

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Youth Voices is working with students from Arroyo High School to explore El Monte/South El Monte and the surrounding communities. The students have formed teams to explore and investigate their communities, map assets, collect and share stories, data and community input for their projects. All the while they are learning and expanding their knowledge of digital media and civic engagement. Follow their work here and on Instagram and Twitter by using #kcetyv.

Bryan works with Amigos De Los Rios, he is the Outreach and Volunteer Associate. He works with Amigos de los Rios' Fellow, Nikola Hlady, to coordinate volunteers and teens for their projects throughout the area. He spoke to us about his organization and their work on the Emerald Necklace, as well as possible ways they can help us on our project.

We walked out to the proposed garden site to show Bryan the space and ask his advice. He talked to us about soil samples and the importance of soil composition to the health of a garden. He offered to take samples to a lab to identify the soil composition of the area of our possible garden. This will tell us the health of the soil and also specify what nutrients we would have to add with a specialized fertilizer blend. He pointed out that there is a highly invasive tree that was introduced to the proposed garden site. If it isn't taken care of before we start, it could easily overtake the entire area. He brought up that cement is not the best option for a garden since it absorbs a lot of heat from the sun and it could possibly harm the plants growing along side it. He encouraged us to consider some drought resistant plants and certain crops that would not require too much water.

He suggested that our next steps should include measuring the garden and planning out where we envision the planters, vegetation, and paths. We are going to measure the length and width, and calculate the square footage, for each individual planter. This will help us figure out how much of the soil with the recommended amendments we need for the garden.

Recently Bryan sent back the results of the soil samples and advised us to look through it carefully. Bryan is planning to stop by our class to go over the results and help us understand the recommendations listed. All his advice and help will assist in our plans to create a community garden on our school campus.

Bryan points out different possibilities with the proposed garden site
Bryan points out different possibilities with the proposed garden site.

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