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  • 2017 Keynote Presentations

    Greater Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington area July 12-15, 2017

    2017 Keynote Presentations

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    Keynote Presentations


    Philip Lee and Rick Swann, Thursday July 13

    Tomorrow’s Flowers: garden educators plant seeds for the future

    About Philip Lee and Rick Swann

    Philip Lee’s publishing company Readers to Eaters promotes food literacy and endeavors to help create and celebrate a rich, healthy, diverse, and inclusive food culture.  Readers to Eaters has published recipients of the AHS/Junior Master Gardener Growing Good Kids book award: Our School Garden! and Zora’s Zucchini.  As a host and producer for KBCS radio in Bellevue, WA, he reported on educational issues. But it soon became clear to him that youth obesity, hunger, and lack of access to good foods are major obstacles for children learning in school, which led to his reporting on farm-to-school, food security, and the local food movement. Philip sits on the board of Slow Foods Seattle and is a member of Seattle Parks Urban Food System.

    Rick Swann, author of Our School Garden! will co-present with Philip Lee. Rick Swann is author of Our School Garden! awarded the Growing Good Kids Book Award in 2013. A long-time elementary school teacher and librarian, he believes food literacy should be a component of K-12 literacy education. He wrote Our School Garden! while working with parents, teachers and administrators to expand his school’s garden so that all students could have hands-on experiences with growing plants. Now retired from Seattle Schools, he continues to be active with school gardens through his involvement with Slow Food Seattle. He’s a member of Greenwood Poets and continues to write children’s books.




    Brian "Fox" Ellis, Saturday July 15

    Comic Misadventures of Lewis and Clark

    About Brian "Fox" Ellis

    Brian “Fox” Ellis is a full-time storyteller, educator, author and free-lance environmental activist. Mr. Ellis will bring to life a character well known to the Pacific Northwest, Meriwether Lewis in his presentation of “Comic Misadventures of Lewis and Clark.”  

    Imagine an evening in Philadelphia with some of the greatest scientific minds in Early American history where Meriwether Lewis reveals for the first time many of the scientific discoveries of the Corps of Discovery.  Join Lewis in this exciting blend of stories and song, journal excerpts, and American Indian folklore. Equal parts stand-up comedy and musical theater, this program focuses on the scientific mission as ordered by our most botanical president, Jefferson. Encountering grizzly bears and collecting soil samples, capturing prairie dogs and cataloguing plants, Lewis identified 122 new animal species and 178 new plants. In this original performance, Fox sings the praises of the geology, diverse flora and fauna, and the web of life that binds us to the land.

    In addition to Meriwether Lewis, Mr. Ellis brings to life other scientific figures such as John James Audubon, Charles Darwin, and Gregor Mendel for youth and adult audiences.   Mr. Ellis has helped dozens of schools plant gardens, authored a dozen books on ecological and educational themes, including Learning From the Land: Teaching Ecology and Creative Writing through Storytelling.