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  • 2017 Session Descriptions

    Greater Portland, Oregon & Vancouver, Washington area, July 12-15, 2017 #NCYGS17

    2017 Session Descriptions

    Find what interests you most

    Please note that this year you do not need to register for the various sessions you plan to attend. Register for the Symposium now, and select sessions while you are at the Symposium.

    All sessions will be held at the Symposium headquarters, the Hilton Vancouver.

    Thursday, July 13: Session Block A, 9:30am-10:30am | Session Block B, 10:45am-11:45am | Session Block C, 2:45pm-4:00pm
    Friday, July 14: Session Block D, 9:15am-10:45am | Session Block E, 11:15am-12:15pm | Session Block F, 2:00pm-3:00pm
    Saturday, July 15: Session Block G, 9:00am-10:00am | Session Block H, 10:45am-12:15pm


    A1 | Teacher and Parent Participation: Key to Pre-K Garden Program Success

    Dr. Sara Gable | State Specialist - Child Development | University of Missouri Extension  | Columbia, MO

    Gardening strategies designed to improve preschoolers’ vegetable intake depend upon parental involvement for success. Examine ways to intentionally engage teacher and parent participation in all aspects of the garden, including formal events, communication strategies, and regular routines. Participants will leave with new ideas for effectively engaging key partners – teachers and parents – in pre-K garden programs.


    A2 | Building School Garden Leaders for Sustainability

    Bianca Peterson | Grow Local School Garden Manager | Sustainable Food Center | Austin, TX
    Liz Cardinal | Teaching Garden Coordinator| Sustainable Food Center | Austin, TX

    Learn about how the Sustainable Food Center trains school garden leaders to create a sustainable school garden as a team. Topics covered will include identifying leaders and building a strong team, planning, budgeting, garden management, and strategies for ensuring the garden will thrive for years to come. Participants will complete an activity to map reciprocal partnerships from their school garden to community assets. Receive a School Garden Planning Worksheet and a handout with relevant research on youth gardening.


    A3 | Not Your Usual Youth Garden Planting

    Candice Hart | Horticulture Educator | University of Illinois Extension | Clinton, IL

    Theme gardens are a great way to make gardening more relatable for youth and helps get them excited about gardening. For example, a pizza-themed garden can go a long way toward engaging kids in that garden. Come learn some new ideas for theme gardens, the interesting plants and props that go along with them, and accompanying activities.


    A4 | Amazing Field Trips

    Dr. Norm Lownds | Associate Professor and Curator | Michigan 4-H Children's Gardens  | East Lansing, MI

    How do you ensure that field trips are truly engaging, enjoyable, and meaningful? How do you guarantee that a field trip will change how kids understand and relate to the natural world? We will examine the common components of amazing field trips and explore how you can create and deliver them to your students. You will leave this session with the knowledge and tools to make every field trip a wonderful and valuable experience!


    A5 | Teaching in Nature's Classroom: Principles of Garden-Based Education

    Nathan Larson | Director, Wisconsin School Garden Network | Community GroundWorks/UW-Madison Environmental Design Lab | Madison, WI

    Nathan Larson shares his guiding principles of garden-based education, gleaned from nearly two decades of working with young people of all ages in school and community gardens. He will present stories, images, and research that illustrate each of these best practices. Attendees will receive a copy of his recently released and widely praised book, Teaching in Nature's Classroom: Core Principles of Garden-Based Education.


    A6 | Wild for Pollinators: Creating a Garden-Based Advocacy Program

    Maree Gaetani | Director of Partnerships and Outreach | KidsGardening.org |Burlington, VT

    Wild for Pollinators, an initiative by KidsGardening.org in partnership with the Vermont Community Garden Network and the Intervale Center, asks Vermont organizations to leave a section of lawn unmowed to create pollinator corridors across the state. Developed as a model that could be amplified on a national level, this program aims to engage youth in supporting pollinators, educate them on the power of plants to solve a problem, and demonstrate collective impact. Topics covered during this session include steps to designing and developing a successful youth garden-based pollinator initiative.


    B1 | Coldframes & Framework: Digging into Garden-Based Evaluation

    Ms. Tegan Bernstein | Senior Program Specialist | USDA, FNS |  Robbinsville, NJ

    Join us for an interactive session that will bust school garden federal regulation myths and highlight case studies of model garden to cafeteria programs, including achievements and lessons learned with a special emphasis on how evaluation has helped gardens grow. Participants will begin to design individualized evaluation framework — connecting goals to activities to expected outcomes to data collection and analysis strategies. USDA Farm to School Census data will be used to frame the discussion and summarize the current landscape of school gardens through the cafeteria lens.


    B2 | Ghosts in the Garden: The Roots of Garden-based Learning

    Dr. Arlene Marturano |  Consultant, garden communicator | SC Garden-based Learning Network  | Columbia, SC

    A successful school garden requires a rich rationale. By revisiting the educational ideas of six philosophers – Comenius, Rousseau, Pestalozzi, Froebel, Dewey, and Montessori - we find that school gardening is part of a long and ongoing tradition. As we investigate the garden theories from the ghosts of education past, the challenge for educators is to appropriate and synthesize the contributions of educational theorists into a rationale for garden-based instruction in their classroom or school.


    B3 | Maker Movement and Youth Gardening: Horticulture-Tech Fusion

    Dave Francis | Extension Associate Professor | Utah State University Extension 4-H | Woods Cross, UT

    Computer hackers, traditional artisans, and robot builders are all examples of the eclectic mix of people interested in “making.” Among the drones and 3-D printers, an interesting subset of horticulture projects is emerging in the Maker Movement. Along with an overview of what this trend is all about and how youth gardening intersects with it, we will discuss several garden-related Maker Projects for a variety of interests and skill levels and highlight resources and projects.


    B4 | How to create and certify Schoolyard Habitats for Wildlife

    Morgan Parks | Oregon Education Coordinator | National Wildlife Federation | Milwaukie, OR

    To help reconnect today's children to the outdoors, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) assists schools in developing outdoor classrooms called Schoolyard Habitats, where educators and students learn how to attract and support local wildlife. Schoolyard Habitats become sites to teach about wildlife conservation and other cross-curricular lessons.  Participants should come with specific school grounds in mind (bring a printed map of the school property). The activity will help assess your school grounds, whether it provides the essential components of wildlife habitat in order to certify as a Schoolyard Habitat.


    B5 | Grant Writing 101: Whole Kids Foundation Grant Programs and Writing Tips

    Tristana Pirkl | Grants Program Manager | Whole Kids Foundation | Austin, TX

    Since 2011, Whole Kids Foundation has provided over 4,200 Garden Grants and 300 Honey Bee Grants.  With our Garden Grant partner, FoodCorps, we have reviewed over 7,200 grant application and have assembled some tips along the way.  Come learn all about our grant programs, how to apply, and best practices and examples for how to successfully share the wonders of your garden program to garner funding!  Participants will complete a grant writing exercise and workshop with peers to put there best practices and tips into action.


    B6 | Education Outside: Innovative K-5 Science Education in Urban Public Schools

    Rachel Pringle | Chief Strategy Officer | Education Outside | San Francisco, CA

    San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) was the first district in the nation to fund, through a voter-approved bond, the systemic revitalization of asphalt schoolyards into vibrant green outdoor classrooms. Education Outside's innovative AmeriCorps program utilizes these green schoolyards to provide integrated outdoor science and ecoliteracy education to 14,000 students annually. Let’s discuss equitable access to the natural world in urban public schools and the desperate need for engaging elementary science education that utilizes the green schoolyard and other nearby natural areas.


    B7 | Ensuring a Qualified Workforce – What Can We Do?

    Susan Yoder | Executive Director | Seed Your Future | Martinsville, IN

    Across the breadth of the horticulture industry, companies are struggling to recruit qualified candidates.  Seed Your Future (SYF) is a movement designed to change that trend.  SYF is focused on encouraging more young people, their families, their teachers, and their youth program leaders to embrace, get excited about, and ultimately pursue horticulture careers.  In this session, we will explore what you can do to get involved in this workforce development movement and make a difference for years to come.



    C1 | Engaging Youth with Cut Flowers as a Gateway to Gardening

    Rizanino Reyes | Owner | RHR Horticulture | Seattle , WA

    This fun floral workshop aims to teach and inspire not just youth, but also their mentors (you!), by discovering the role cut flowers play in our lives.   Gather ideas on how to develop a curriculum that brings the outdoors in for young elementary school students using cut flowers that will allow them to apply their motor skills, curiosity about nature, and budding creativity by revealing some of the many lessons that can be derived from arranging flowers.  Participants will assemble their own arrangement and develop a narrative based on their creation.

    C2 | Making Plants Fun!

    Dr. Shelley Mitchell | Assistant Extension Specialist | Oklahoma State University | Stillwater, OK

    Come prepared to participate in activities and crafts aimed to get kids interested in plants.  These activities have been successfully used with children in day camps, classrooms, and clubs.  A detailed description of many other successful activities will be provided, because we would need about two weeks to do every activity on the list! Resources and ideas will be distributed, with emphasis on hands-on activities that are popular with kids and are inexpensive or free.


    C3 | School Gardens for All: Diversity, Equity, and Cultural Responsiveness

    Djamila Moore | Education Director | Portland Earth Art & Agriculture Project |Portland, OR
    Dr. Dilafruz Williams, Ph.D. | Professor, Leadership for Sustainability Education | Portland State University | Portland, OR

    By their nature, gardens embody diversity. In this workshop, participants will learn culturally responsive practices to engage diverse children and youth to ensure that garden education is equitable and meaningful for all students. Participants will explore the cultural significance of school gardens for the increasingly diverse school communities by embracing inclusive practices. This workshop will build a repertoire of culturally responsive curriculum and pedagogies while facilitating a critical conversation around the need to contextualize garden-based learning in the lives of students through collaboration with parental communities.


    C4 | Citizen Science in the Garden

    Stacie Mann | Resource Coordinator | The Cornell Lab of Ornithology | Ithaca, NY

    Your garden is a living, breathing science classroom! Join us in this fun and interactive session to learn how participating in citizen-science projects adds interest, enjoyment, and educational value to the youth gardening experience. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is at the forefront of citizen science, encouraging people of all ages to gather data about the birds that they see. This data helps us to better understand and conserve birds as well as their habitats. In addition to providing resources, we’ll discuss challenges related to authentic scientific inquiry and citizen science in the garden setting.


    C5 | Growing on the Edge: Cultivating resiliency and engagement in Youth Garden

    Liana Harden | Assistant Professor of Practice & 4-H Youth Development Program Coordinator | Oregon State University Extension | Hood River, OR
    Maureen Hosty | Professor of Practice & 4-H Youth Development Coordinator | Oregon State University Extension | Portland , OR

    Are you working with youth living in poverty, but can’t seem to keep them engaged? Have you watched a young learner shut down or get angry for seemingly no reason? By understanding how young brains react to stress, we as garden-education practitioners can avoid prompting harmful psychological reactions in youth that are easily triggered by changing behavioral and cultural expectations common in learning-garden environments. This presentation will examine causes and symptoms of stress and explore practical methods in cultivating programs that foster emotional resilience and active engagement.


    C6 | Young Gardeners to Youth Entrepreneurs: Looking at Youth-Led Garden-Based Businesses

    Malka Roth  | Lead Educator and Youth Coordinator | City Blossoms  | Washington, DC

    Join City Blossoms in exploring their youth led garden-based entrepreneurship program, Mighty Greens. Throughout the year, Mighty Greens students grow, harvest, and sell produce, seedlings, and value added products in a variety of settings throughout Washington DC.  This workshop will share national case studies comparing different styles of youth-led businesses, lesson plans, and hands-on activities. We will explore how participants can utilize their own unique garden space based on student interests, community needs, and practical limitations.


    C7 | Coming Together To Ensure Urban Youth Are Growing Up Green

    Lee Coykendall | Children's Education Specialist | U.S. Botanic Garden | Washington, DC
    Matthew Wheelock  | President/Founder | Live It Learn It | Washington , DC

    Live It Learn It is a community-based organization that seeks to engage students in Title I schools in rigorous experiential learning in order to deepen understanding and kindle curiosity about the world. Through collaboration, Live It Learn It and the US Botanic Garden develop innovative ideas, increase capacity, create new resources, and provide new opportunities to connect students with the plant world. In this workshop, participants will conduct the hands-on experiments that now constitute core elements of the USBG-LILI curriculum, discuss ways to incorporate/adapt the curricula, and brainstorm potential collaborations in their communities. Each participant will receive a copy of the curricula.


    D1 | Children's Gardens and Museums: Northwest Kids Get Outdoors!

    Alissa Rupp | Principal | The Portico Group | Seattle, WA
    Ruth Shelly | Executive Director | Portland Children's Museum |Portland, OR
    Patty Belmonte | Executive Director | Hands On Children's Museum | Olympia, WA
    Nancy Johnson | Executive Director | Imagine Children’s Museum | Everett, WA
    Liz Bullard | Executive Director | Seattle Children’s Play Garden | Seattle, WA

    Children’s museums and city parks have made great strides in creating spaces where kids can connect with nature. Designers and directors of spaces built for children and families recognize the power of children’s gardens to provide space for inspiration, reflection, play, wonder and curiosity.   This session begins with an introduction to five beautiful Northwest children’s gardens and outdoor spaces. The second portion will be a robust discussion that can spark the design process. The session will culminate in a report by small groups who use garden plans, images, and questions to generate new ideas.

    D2 | Harvest, Healthy Habits & Hopscotch - Gardening for Nutrition

    Bonny Hajducko | Agricultural/Horticultural Educator, JMG Instructor | Broward County Farm Bureau | Margate, FL
    Cathy Whitt | Community Outreach Wellness Specialist, Coordinator of Growing Healthy Kids | Holy Cross Hospital| Pembroke Pines, FL

    Are you looking for curriculum that combines plant knowledge with life skills and physical activity?  In this session attendees will examine key activities in the Ag-in-the-Classroom’s "Gardening for Nutrition” curriculum. Gardening for Nutrition is written for the K-2 level, but is easily expanded to PK-adults. It is the perfect complement to the outdoor gardening experience. Integrated subjects like health, physical education, language arts, science and mathematics will be presented through crafts, song and games.

    D3 | Ethnobotanical Gardens for Children = Learning + Plants and Play

    Dr. Gail Hansen | Associate Professor | University of Florida | Gainesville, FL
    Jennifer Marvin | PhD Student, Environmental Horticulture | University of Florida | Gainesville, FL

    Ethnobotanical gardens tell the story of history, culture, and nature through the use of plants in a region.  A well-designed children’s ethnobotanical garden/play space provides a narrative of the child’s own place in the local, natural, and cultural community and describes the history of how their community came to be through the use of plants. Participants in the workshop will learn about the characteristics of ethnobotanical gardens and work in teams to create and design themes, storylines, activities, and structures for a proposed garden.

    D4 | Gardening is For the Birds

    Dr. Arlene Marturano |  Consultant | SC Garden-based Learning Network and Cornell Lab of Ornithology Feeder Watch | Columbia, SC

    Schoolyards and public gardens hold enormous potential for monitoring bird population fluctuation, one indicator of ecosystem diversity.  To encourage the lifelong study and appreciation of birds, sixth graders observed birds at classroom window feeders and recorded census data on winter-feeding birds from November to April. Then, they researched the habitat requirements for birds seen at the feeder and the diet of native birds. Participants will simulate this experience when planning and designing a bird garden and will come away with the seeds to grow a bird house.

    D5 | A Botanical Tale: Storytelling in the Garden

    Brian "Fox" Ellis |  Educator, Author, Storyteller | Fox Tales International | Bishop Hill, IL

    In this participatory workshop you will hear a few good stories and tell a few of your own. Learn the basics of storytelling and how to use storytelling to bring another layer of excitement and inspiration to your educational programs. We will explore resources, walk through the strategies to help you learn and tell stories, and discuss the many ways storytelling can be a fruitful effort in a variety of programming options.

    D6 | Grow Your Garden Program with Amazing New Websites and Resources!

    Pam Hosimer | Nutrition Educator and Master Gardener | University of Maryland Extension | Damascus, MD

    Come discover incredible new online resources in this workshop that will make it simple to generate lots of learning and enthusiasm with children and youth in your garden program. Materials will appeal to both formal and informal educators and be useful in both standards-based and extracurricular programs. Curriculum ideas and budget-friendly activities and crafts will also be presented.  We will discuss how to utilize this information to extend the learning experience and incorporate a diverse audience, thereby increasing your confidence in implementing these ideas.

    D7 | Increasing Inclusion in School Garden Programming

    Amoreena Guerrero| Program Director | School Garden Project | Eugene, OR
    Kathryn Johnson | Special Education Teacher | Willagillespie Elementary | Eugene, OR

    What does being inclusive look like in a garden-based learning environment?  School Garden Project of Lane County, a small educational non-profit researched this topic in a quest to increase the inclusivity and accessibility of their garden education programs and to create resources to help other educators to do the same.  During this workshop, we will define inclusivity, identify benefits and barriers that garden-based learning presents to students with disabilities, and explore tips, techniques, and tools to reduce those barriers while amplifying the benefits that learning in the garden can provide.


    E1 | The Long Haul:  Sustainability Planning for School Gardens

    Bonnie Martin | School Consultant | Smart Sprout /University of Texas TX Sprouts |  Austin, TX

    School gardens often get so caught up in the hype of the build and initial planting that they have little discussion about what support their program will need to continue into the future.  School gardens depend on strong advocates. With attrition of teachers, volunteers, and passionate leaders, these gardens are ripe for failure when these advocates move on.  But key efforts made to plan for these eventualities can help a garden program thrive and grow.


    E2 | Kids Grow!: Two Perspectives on a Children's Gardening Program

    Chris Strand | Director of Garden and Estate | Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library | Avondale, PA
    Parker Strand | The Pennsylvania State University | Avondale, PA

    Kids Grow! Children's Gardening Program was created to teach young children the fundamentals of gardening and to cultivate interest in the field of horticulture. The program is offered to twenty families who each receive their own garden plot and hands-on instruction from horticulture staff at Winterthur. Chris Strand is responsible for the development and management of the program, while Parker is a former participant who is now pursuing a degree in horticulture. The two offer differing perspectives on the program but can agree on its impact and success.


    E3 | Plant Heroes: Engage kids in protecting trees from forest pests

    Daniel Stern | Manager, Plant Protection Program | American Public Gardens Association | Kennett Square,  PA

    Engaging today’s youth in the importance of trees and the impact of serious pests and diseases is the key to protecting our forests in the future. The Plant Heroes® program uses positive outcome comic strip stories to illustrate how kids can prevent the introduction and spread of these threats, protect the trees in their neighborhoods and help save our forests. This session will provide attendees an overview of the Plant Heroes resources and give them an opportunity to practice using the Tree Mapping Project.


    E4 | The Interdisciplinary Garden

    Franke Smith | Educator | Watson-Brown Foundation | Thomson, GA

    In this session, we will discuss ways to integrate Social Science and STEM topics into garden programming. From the First Nations to King Cotton to the Dust Bowl, there are numerous topics that enable educators to create dynamic lessons that cover history, technology, life science, engineering, and even economics into a garden lesson. We will look at examples and then brainstorm ways to expand programming in these areas and attract new field trips and school groups to your site.


    E5 | Discover Free Extension Service Resources to Benefit Your Programs

    Robin Galloway | 4-H Professor | Oregon State University Extension Service  | Tangent, OR
    Rick Sherman | Farm to School/School Garden Coordinator | Oregon Dept. of Education | Salem, OR

    The national cooperative Extension Service has offices in almost every county. The Oregon State University Extension Service’s mission is to convey research-based knowledge in a way that is useful for everyday gardeners. Extension faculty bring expertise from many different fields and work with all aspects of school gardens, consulting at no charge.   Extension educators consult with scientists conducting research at Oregon State University. Results from that research circle back to the community through Extension programs. This session will help you become familiar with the staff and resources available in your area.


    E6 | Engage, Discover, Learn!  Preventing Plant Blindness

    Dr. Mary Legoria | Science Specialist | East Baton Rouge Parish School System / Westdale Heights Academic Magnet | Baton Rouge, LA   
    Dr. Pam Blanchard | Associate Professor | Louisiana State University | Baton Rouge, LA  
    Dr. Ed Bush | Associate Professor | Louisiana State University | Baton Rouge, LA

    Educational research and observations have long recognized a lack of engagement with plants and nature among young people and adults. Even in casual observations of children and families in children’s gardens at schools and within large botanical gardens, one can note how rarely a child actually stops to consider a flower or plant.  Has your garden come up with ideas to encourage visitors to engage with plants? In this workshop, we will share a strategy drawn from aquarium visitor research and discuss how to adapt this strategy to a children’s garden setting.


    E7 | Garden Across the Curriculum with the Seed Savers Novel Series

    Sandy Smith | Author | Seed Savers Series | Salem, OR

    School gardens should not be considered extracurricular or make teachers groan about one more thing added to their already too-full plates. In this session, author Sandy Smith will introduce her young adult series, Seed Savers, and share how it can be used in conjunction with school gardens for learning and literacy across subject areas. Sandy's session will provide an overview of the series, focusing on the gardening topics covered in each book, as well as subject area tie-ins beyond gardening and language arts.


    F1 | Children's Gardens: Design Features and Goals

    Dr. Lolly Tai | Professor | Temple University | Jenkintown, PA

    A recent examination of twenty case studies of public children’s gardens reveals essential design features and key goals. Two case studies from the presenter’s new book, The Magic of Children’s Gardens illustrate how key design elements like scale, water, plants, and wildlife are integrated in creating children’s gardens. Through many beautiful sketches and photographs, the audience will gain an understanding of the design concept and process for each garden.


    F2 | More Please: Growing, Cooking, and Tasting with Young Gardeners

    Willa Pohlman | Director of Community Green Spaces and Trainings | City Blossoms | Washington, DC

    Learn from City Blossoms' eight years of growing, harvesting, cooking, and enjoying food with kids and families. Explore lessons learned through cooking with chefs ages 2-18, families, teachers, and neighbors in community and school gardens.  In this session we will discuss favorite kid crops to grow and cook, useful tools you need to cook with kids both indoors and outside, tips on classroom management while cooking, and how to facilitate a positive eating experience with kids.  Finally, let’s test out a few recipes!


    F3 | Beyond Weeding and Watering: Year-Round STEM Engagement in Your Garden

    Stacie Mann | Resource Coordinator | The Cornell Lab of Ornithology | Ithaca, NY

    Gardens provide wonderful outcomes like vegetables and flowers, exercise and fresh air, life skills and self-esteem. In this session, we’ll consider the year-round educational value of gardens, with a focus on STEM learning possibilities, especially during garden “down times.” For example, kids can observe and sketch wildlife, research and design ways that the garden can provide wildlife habitat after harvest, and journal and document the seasonal variation of the garden. You will walk away with techniques and resources that will benefit both wildlife and students.


    F4 | Growing Success-Indoor Year Round Gardening

    Patrick Ryan | Education Specialist | Alaska Botanical Garden | Anchorage, AK

    Speaker will demonstrate step-by-step creation of a mobile indoor growing system that can be used year 'round to grow greens, herbs and flowers for harvesting, transplanting, or gifts.  The Alaska Botanical Garden has developed a workable program for anyone to enjoy growing plants with a relatively inexpensive lighted shelf system. This session will include step-by-step instructions for building and maintaining the shelves, Gardening 101, and advice on how to plant with multi-age groups.


    F5 | Lessons Learned from Portland's Lead in Water & School Gardens

    Rick Sherman | Farm to School/School Garden Coordinator  | Oregon Dept of Education | Salem, OR 
    Sarah Canterberry | Youth Grow Manager | Growing Gardens | Portland, OR

    Join Sarah Canterberry from Growing Gardens and Rick Sherman from the Oregon Department of Education as they share their experience of discovery of lead in the Portland-area schools' plumbing systems, which caused school gardens to cease and desist this past fall!  Session attendees will learn valuable lessons to be proactive so this doesn't happen to you!


    F6 | School gardens and community organizations – Developing and maintaining partnerships

    Amy Weaver | Farm to Institution Director | SC Dept of Health and Environmental Control | Columbia, SC
    Benjamin Sease | Farm to School Food Service Coordinator | South Carolina Dept of Education | Columbia, SC

    Nationwide the farm to school movement continues to deepen its roots and grow, providing opportunities for garden designers, civic leaders, program coordinators, and other community partners to strengthen these programs. This presentation will describe the origins of the farm to school movement and its general structure, highlight areas of need in which local community organizations can assist, and offer practical steps for schools to reach out to a variety of community organizations, as well as how community organizations may approach schools to offer assistance.


    F7 | Funding Your School Garden Program

    John Fisher | Director of Programs and Partnerships | Life Lab | Santa Cruz, CA

    There is no one way to fund a garden program —there are hundreds! In this workshop, Life Lab’s John Fisher will share a wide variety of ideas to finance your school garden program. From finding grants and supportive policy, to school garden micro-enterprise and farm-raisers, discussion will provide funding ideas for all aspects of your school garden. John will share how the school garden program that he runs is funded, examples from other successful garden programs, and will draw upon the audience to share how they have raised money for their programs.


    G1 | An Assessment of School Garden Programs in the Portland Region

    Scott Logan | Intern, Horticulturist | Growing Gardens | Portland, OR

    Growing Gardens, a Portland-based non-profit asked 100 local school garden coordinators/educators about the successes and challenges they have faced.  Their responses, when viewed as a whole, create a blueprint for successful school garden programs. This session will reveal survey results on a variety of topics: subjects taught in the garden, funding options, differences between programs in high-income and low-income schools, common challenges, and community benefits that go beyond just curriculum.


    G2 | Why Rainwater Harvesting is More than Just a Science Activity

    Paula Henson | Educator | Terra Bella Water | Los Angeles, CA

    Rain is a visible, tangible natural phenomenon and it is almost irresistible to young children when they’re allowed to investigate it. Seen as a catalyst for exploration of many different topics, the concept of rainwater harvesting in the school setting is an opportunity not to be missed! Topics to be covered are: water conservation basics; how water is used and the potential for other uses in schools; assessing potential capture; types of systems and costs. Attendees will also see case studies with creative solutions and discover resources for incorporating a simple or complex system at school sites.


    G3 | The Goldilocks Dilemma: Adapting Curriculum So It Is “Just Right”

    Tabitha Surface | Extension Agent |  West Virginia State University Extension Service | Institute, WV

    Have you ever found the almost-perfect curriculum? Just because it isn’t perfect for your situation, doesn’t mean you can’t use it. West Virginia State University Extension Agents will guide you in adapting curriculum you love, making it appropriate for your audience whether that is preschool or high school, special needs or gifted populations, classroom or informal education settings.  They will share their experience adapting Junior Master Gardener Curriculum.


    G4 | SAGE Garden: A Community Collaboration

    Cassidy Radloff | Farm to School Coordinator | Corvallis Environmental Center | Corvallis, OR
    Carrie Norris-Sanchez | SAGE Garden Manager | Corvallis Environmental Center | Corvallis, OR

    SAGE (Starker Arts Garden for Education) is a 1-acre production garden located in Corvallis, Oregon. SAGE is a cornerstone of the community, made possible by a multitude of collaborations and a team of volunteers. SAGE is also a place to learn, utilized for Farm Field Trips through a collaboration with the Corvallis School District. In the summer, the space is utilized for youth summer camps and workshops for people of all ages!  Come learn how this multi-use community garden space has become a tool for community involvement, education, and food security and how this model can be replicated.


    G5 | Regional School Garden Hubs Share Benefits of Programs

    Robin Galloway | 4-H Educator | Oregon State University Extension | Tangent, OR
    Rick Sherman | Farm to School/School Garden Coordinator | Oregon Dept. of Education | Salem, OR

    School garden educators in Linn and Benton County, Oregon are part of a regional hub and work collaboratively to strengthen the programs at all schools. Educators meet and learn from each other about technical aspects of producing food for the cafeterias and positive youth development while practicing hands-on science. The garden hub leadership recognizes that sharing the impact of school gardens is important for gaining and maintaining political support, obtaining funding, attracting volunteers, and more. Session attendees will be encouraged to network and develop similar partnerships.


    G6 | If you grow it, you will eat it!

    Ariel Demas | Food Educator | Food Studies Institute | Baltimore, MD

    In this session, attendees will learn how one Baltimore City public school engages children every year from pre-K through 8th grade in a sequenced curriculum on gardening, nutrition, and cooking. Attendees will take home student-tested recipes and teacher created learning activities to engage with garden produce. Emphasis will be on food studies as an interdisciplinary medium used to bring academic concepts to life, make cross-curricular connections, and serve as an agent for community building.


    G7 | Allergy-Friendly Schools, Landscapes & Gardens

    Thomas Ogren | Writer, Speaker, Allergy Researcher | The Society for Allergy Friendly Environmental (SAFE) Gardening | San Luis Obispo, CA

    School landscapes should be beautiful, functional, and healthy for everyone in them, including our students with allergies. This session will present what to look for in order to find and contain sources of school-grown allergy, how to plant drought-tolerant, easy to maintain, pollen-free landscape plants, and how to evaluate a school's existing landscape.  Additionally, school-allergy evaluation forms will be shared and discussed.



    H1 | A Celebration of Trees: Creating Your Own Arbor Day Celebration

    Brian "Fox" Ellis | Educator, Author, Storyteller | Fox Tales International | Bishop Hill, IL

    Whether you are planning your first event or wanting to add some new ideas to your long running celebration, come spend a fun-filled morning learning about our arboreal friends in this participatory workshop that is a celebration of trees. Blending storytelling and poetry with hands-on science and crafts, author and naturalist Brian “Fox” Ellis will present a dynamic interdisciplinary workshop for educators and naturalists. We will explore science process skills, creative writing activities, leaf identification games, math and art projects.

    H2 | Growing Healthy Kids with Farm to School

    Heather Buritsch | Principal Agent Associate, Statewide Gardening for Nutrition Coordinator | University of Maryland Extension, Food Supplement Nutrition Education Program | Columbia, MD
    Theresa Serio | Principal Agent Associate, Nutrition Educator | University of Maryland Extension, FCS/FSNE | Westminster, MD

    Ask a child where food comes from and, more often than not, the answer is from a store or restaurant.  Educational, fun and engaging Farm to School programs provide opportunities to learn about and taste locally grown foods. During this session, participants will learn how the University of Maryland Extension’s Food Supplement Nutrition Education introduces students to Farm to School through school gardens, nutrition education, and Smarter Lunchrooms programming.  Resources, activities, lessons, and partnerships that can be used to build a robust Farm to School program in your school will be shared. 

    H3 | Youth Grow! Become a Leader in the Local Food Movement

    Marcia Eames-Sheavly | Senior Extension Associate, Senior Lecturer | Cornell Garden-Based Learning | Ithaca, NY 
    Fiona Doherty | Educator Enrichment Specialist | Cornell Garden-Based Learning | Ithaca, NY

    Developed by Cornell Garden-Based Learning, Youth Grow is an online resource dedicated to helping teens become food system leaders in their communities. Youth interact in lively activities that provide them with powerful tools, leadership skills, and moments for reflection. They walk away with both an action plan and a network of peers and mentors to guide them in the process! Join us as we model the Youth Grow curriculum and practice many of its activities. Learn how you can apply the curriculum to your own settings and encourage agents of change in your communities!

    H4 | Growing Good Kids in the Junior Master Gardener Program

    Patrick Ryan | Education Specialist | Alaska Botanical Garden | Anchorage, AK
    Randy Seagraves | Curriculum Director, International Junior Master Gardener Program & Extension Program Specialist | International Junior Master Gardener, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service | College Station, TX

    The Junior Master Gardener program is an international youth gardening program of the university cooperative Extension network. JMG engages children in novel, “hands-on” group and individual learning experiences that provide a love of gardening, develop an appreciation for the environment, and cultivate the mind.  JMG also inspires young people to help others through service learning and leadership development projects.  Session participants will learn how to initiate and adapt the different levels of the JMG curriculum, including a literature component of award-winning children's books.

    H5 | Cultivating Cultural Competency for Working with Children and Youth

    Nancy E.Young | Author and Consultant | Intercultural Interaction, LLC | Portland, OR

    Would you like to enhance your ability to work with children and youth from an array of cultural backgrounds? Are you ready to explore how culture impacts the way you behave and communicate? If so, this session will add to your toolkit. Discussion will include the changing U.S. population, vocabulary and concepts about intercultural communication (communication between two or more cultural groups), and your preferred communication style within a larger cultural context.

    H6 | From the Soil Up: Building Community Partnerships and Garden Curricula

    Blair Borax | Learning Garden Educator | Portland Community College Rock Creek Learning Garden | Portland, OR

    The Portland Community College Rock Creek Learning Garden and neighboring Springville K-8 School have established a powerful partnership that fosters a growing garden education program for youth.  In this session, we will illustrate the potential in community resources and partnerships. In addition, we will demonstrate methods and offer resources for developing lesson plans that engage youth in the garden, while accommodating constraints such as season and learning objectives.  In small groups, participants will be challenged to create a garden-based lesson plan with a specific scenario to work though.

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