RCO Law Sponsors American Heart Association Community Garden at Sherman Elementary

August 16, 2021

Today was planting day at Sherman Elementary School, a Toledo Public School, that is partnering with the American Heart Association to grow a Community Garden on school grounds at 817 Sherman Street.

RCO Law and Garlic Expressions are co-sponsors of the Sherman School Community Garden that will provide a learning laboratory for 300 students in Pre-K through Grade 8. Over the course of the school year, students will help maintain the garden and reap its harvest. The first planting included seeds for peas, beets, radishes, squash, kale, and lettuce which will grow throughout the Fall.

"Today's children face a number of challenges when it comes to healthy eating," said Sara Hegarty, executive director for the Northwest Ohio American Heart Association.  "Many children don't have affordable access to fresh fruits and vegetables, and many have never learned about proper nutrition.  These factors lead to poor health and rising levels of childhood obesity.  This Community Garden will benefit so many students, and we're proud to implement this initiative that will better the health of local children."

According to RCO Law Attorney Paul E. Croy, “the firm is pleased to work in conjunction with the American Heart Association on this healthy living program that will serve students and their families. The garden will engage and inspire young people by teaching them lifelong skills. As the garden matures, students can take pride in their efforts and will enjoy a variety of fresh and healthy food.”

Nearly one-third of U.S. children are either overweight or obese, putting them at greater risk of developing heart disease. Community gardens are part of the AHA's prevention platform to empower Americans to get healthier. This program was created using AHA science and nutrition guidelines as well as information from gardening and education experts. The program combines nutrition education with garden-based learning.

RCO Law Managing Partner Pete Lavalette was interviewed by WNWO-NBC Channel 24:
New community garden demonstrates healthy eating for Sherman Elementary School students | WNWO (nbc24.com)

If you plant it, they will come. The Sherman School Community Garden, an American Heart Association program, was a collaborative effort built with the help of Toledo Edison volunteers.


Danny Chapman, school nurse, and Kelli Williams-Payne, principal,  work with volunteers to prepare the garden and plant seeds before students come back to school this week.

RCO Law Managing Partner Pete Lavalette is interviewed as lead sponsor by WNWO Channel 24.

(L to R) Pete Lavalette, managing partner, RCO Law; Heidi Nafziger, Heart Walk director, American Heart Association; Kelli Williams-Payne, principal, Sherman School ; and Paul Croy, attorney, RCO Law; attend the planting on August 16. 


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