McDonogh Roots

McDonogh Roots is an outdoor classroom with deep ties to the McDonogh family and the larger Baltimore community.

Our Mission

McDonogh is a farm school, both in our traditions and our foundations. The farm unites our community through the cultivation of the earth and stewardship of the land. It directs us to extend the benefits we enjoy to those around us, challenges us to be aware of our environmental and social impact, and serves as a living classroom to stimulate growth and learning. Our farm builds upon John McDonogh's original mission to develop in all of us the will "to do the greatest possible amount of good." — McDonogh Roots Mission Statement

McDonogh School was founded more than 135 years ago as a farm school. The purpose of the Roots garden is to bring farming and some self-sustainability back to McDonogh's campus. Launched in spring 2009, McDonogh Roots' mission is threefold: to provide fresh vegetables for the dining hall, food for the needy, and educational opportunities for students in all grades.

Another benefit of Roots is building community. Throughout the year, members of the McDonogh family come together and work side by side to tend the garden.

Roots began as a one-acre area on the north side of campus, consisting of three main sections: a large community plot where potatoes and tomatoes grow, smaller individual plots that homerooms, individuals, and campus families adopt, and a pumpkin patch for the lower schoolers. Farming continues to be integrated into the school curriculum throughout grades K-12, providing an outdoor classroom for all students. Today, the garden continues to prosper. New walking paths and shaded areas are being added, which will make the area an inviting respite from the high tech world.

Members of the school community are what make Roots successful and all are welcome to participate in helping to make the garden grow. Please sign up to volunteer, receive emails about upcoming McDonogh Roots events, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

McDonogh Roots and Community Service

Roots has been approved as a service opportunity for Upper School students to earn credit towards their 40 hour requirement!

McDonogh students will be able to earn credit for a minimum of 9 hours up to a maximum of 15 hours at Roots. At least one hour of a students time over the course of the summer must be spent delivering food to a pantry or food bank, or working with the Baltimore SquashWise students who get involved with our Roots program.

To get started, sign up for one of our volunteer events and select "community service."