By Adrian Higgins

We are living in uncertain times, but here’s something to lift the spirits: About half the schools in the District now have a garden.

The gardens are neither luxuries nor insignificant. To young, formative minds, these green spaces represent an introduction to the delicate and vital dance between nature and the city in a century when the two must come together in harmony as never before.

I stopped by Leckie Elementary School in Southwest Washington on a recent, blustery Saturday to watch an army of volunteers (including former Redskins players), teachers, students and nonprofit organizers put the finishing touches on a new school garden that will connect grade-schoolers to nature. It’s sweet to think that a 6-year-old planting a bean seed next spring might well be showing her great-grandchildren how to do the same at the turn of the next century. The Leckie garden’s elements include outdoor classroom spaces, a vegetable garden in raised beds, a grove of birch trees, a meadow garden, perennial beds and that essential marker of a working garden: the shed.

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