The Durham Public Schools Hub Farm is a 30 acre farm, forest and aquatic habitat located adjacent to Eno Valley Elementary School in Durham, North Carolina. Spearheaded by DPS Career-Technical Education and guided by a small staff and advisory board, the project engages students and teachers, and the greater Durham community in all aspects of sustainable farming systems, environmental stewardship, health and nutrition, and career development.
The Hub Farm’s mission is to improve the academic achievement and health of students in Durham Public Schools through project-based learning in outdoor environments. Supporting this mission, the Hub Farm site includes food production gardens, rain gardens, pollinator gardens, beehives, a floating lab, ecological study areas of forest, ponds, wetland and streams, and robust and diverse community and institutional partnership networks that leverage this physical resource for the health and nutritional development of Durham’s youth.
The Hub Farm is a central component in a healthier local food system for Durham, where focused instruction across all areas of study coincides with greater physical activity, food awareness, and outdoor experiences.
In late 2011, a team of educators, teachers and community members formed to brainstorm ways to put to use 30 acres of vacant public school land. From the spring of 2012 until the Hub Farm’s official launch on-site, a series of community design charrettes, planning and formal documentation and mater planning for the Hub Farm were developed to create the seeds of the Hub Farm. The team coalesced around the idea of a farm that would serve as a hub for DPS students and the community. The Hub Farm would also be a hub for several DPS priorities, including student health, career readiness and community engagement. The planning gained traction and, with the support of DPS’s Career and Technical Education program, the Hub Farm had its official Vine-Cutting launch in October 2012 at the site.