< 1 minute read|Posted by Media Relations|Released

FAIRWINDS Employees Dig In At Local School Garden


Day of service helped to enrich students’ lives by providing hands-on learning experiences about agriculture, conservation, and other life sciences

Volunteers from FAIRWINDS Credit Union spent a day expanding the school garden at Arbor Ridge K-8 School to include more garden beds and the addition of a fruit tree orchard. Students and staff celebrated the school garden with a ribbon cutting that included FAIRWINDS Credit Union’s Elisha González, Orlando City Foundation’s Kay Rawlins, IDEAS For Us, Alex Luna, and Arbor Ridge School’s principal Vanessa Demars.

Located in Orlando’s Union Park area, the school has a 70% minority enrollment with a 52% economically-disadvantaged student body. The garden expansion, funded by FAIRWINDS, will further enrich the lives of students in this community by providing experiential and hands-on life sciences learning which has a proven impact on their ability to retain the knowledge and use what they learn in their lives.

The project is part of a program by IDEAS For Us, an Orlando-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and accredited Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) of the United Nations, in partnership with the Orlando City Soccer Foundation to create sustainable infrastructure solutions to the community’s ecological issues. School gardens offer an oasis of tranquility, mental rejuvenation, and a canvas for self-expression in a busy world with increasingly fewer accessible green spaces, as well as allow students to learn best practices for sustainability in agriculture, ecology and conservation, and much more.

“This school garden at Arbor Ridge K-8, where these students are actually seeing things grow in an otherwise underused portion of the school, is incredible,” said Elisha González, vice president of community relations and government affairs at FAIRWINDS Credit Union and executive director of FAIRWINDS Foundation. “We’re thankful that our team could play a part in creating this meaningful teaching environment and appreciate the opportunity to give back in our community.”

“We are delighted to partner with our friends at FAIRWINDS Credit Union to install this garden, providing a source of healthy food while also nurturing the minds of the young gardeners,” said Kay Rawlins, Orlando City Club Founder and president of the Orlando City Foundation.