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Community garden takes root at Penn Yan school

A planned visit by U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand didn’t materialize, but that did little to dampen the enthusiasm over a new community garden unveiled Friday at Penn Yan Elementary School.

Several PYE students received certificates for being part of the school’s new Garden Club. It was one of several after-school clubs established after the school district received a multi-year grant from the state’s Extended School Day program.

“The senator couldn’t make it today, but we would still like to recognize this program. Two years ago, when we wrote the Extended School Day grant, we began to dream about the possibility of things we could do here for our community and with our community partners,” said school district Superintendent Howard Dennis. “This is exactly the type of program we were looking to create. This is an amazing benefit for our students, and that is what we were hoping for.”

The school district and students are working on the garden with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Yates County. Arlene Wilson, the agency’s executive director, said nearly 50 students are in the garden club.

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