• Home
  • 2018 Sessions

    Join us at NCYGS 2018 for peer-led educational sessions on curriculum and pedagogy, program management, garden design, and growing practices.

    2018 Sessions

    NCYGS Session Information

    Please note that this year you do not need to register for the various sessions you plan to attend. Registration for the Symposium is open now.

    All sessions will be held at Cornell University.

    Thursday, July 12: Session Block A, 10:15am-11:15am | Session Block B, 11:30am-1:00pm 
    Friday, July 13: Session Block C, 10:30am-11:30am | Session Block D, 11:45am-12:45pm | Session Block E, 2:15pm-3:45pm
    Saturday, July 14: Session Block F, 10:00am-11:00am | Session Block G, 11:15am-12:45am


    A1| Slow Food USA and Schools- Ways to Cultivate the Partnership
    Jamison Browder |Educator| Meadowfield Elementary School, Slow Food Columbia |Columbia, SC

    Slow Food USA aims to connect children with their food by teaching them how to grow and cook good, clean, and fair food.  In this session, participants will explore Slow Food USA’s potential impact on the funding, design, production, and philosophy of a school garden. Session participants will learn through the narrative and photos of one teacher who utilized the talents and resources of the local Slow Food chapter to teach pre-kindergarten students about ecological concepts, such as biodiversity, life cycles, and human-nature interdependence.

    A2 | Diversify Your Garden & Maximize Growing Space
    Jazmyn Benjamin | Lead Educator |Highland Youth Garden | Columbus, OH

    This session will explore kid-friendly edible plants and ways to grow them inside and outside the classroom.  Highland Youth Garden (HYG) uses a 1/2 acre plot to grow a variety of crops using a number of different techniques including, among others, high and low tunnels, raised beds, vertical garden spaces, and container gardens.  Along with growing in ground, HYG maximizes the growing spaces by growing up, in, and all winter long!  The presenter will also share examples of growing inside the classroom and windowsill gardening methods.

    A3 | Horticultural Therapy: Growing in the Garden
    Leigh Anne Starling | President | American Horticultural Therapy Association | Towson, MD

    This session will provide an overview of horticultural therapy and introduce attendees to techniques appropriate for children and youth who have mental health challenges.  Discussion will focus on garden activities to address areas of personal development such as social skills, self-esteem, and self-care. Age appropriate interventions to address specific mental health challenges such as substance use and depression will also be discussed.  Attendees will be provided with ideas and suggestions to create safe environments in the garden to enhance group work.

    A4 | Bringing High School Horticulture into the 21st Century
    Kimberly Griggs | Horticulture Teacher | Mercer Island School District | Redmond, WA

    With technology so abundant in today’s society, its use is second nature to the next generation. From the perspective of a first year horticulture teacher, attendees will learn technology integration techniques that can be used in the classroom.  This session is geared towards high school science and horticulture educators.  Participants will discuss ways of integrating technology, inquiry based activities, student-inspired projects, and mindfulness in the classroom.

    A5 | Dig In! Exploring Garden-based Soil Education
    Sarah Pounders | Senior education specialist | KidsGardening |Bradford, VT
    Karen Brown | Creative director | Center for Ecoliteracy | Berkeley, CA

    Soil plays a vital role in sustaining life on Earth. This session explores new resources that will help you tell the story of soil through animation, interactivity, video, and garden-based activities.  These resources include Starting with Soil, a tablet-based app, Understanding Food and Climate Change, an interactive e-pub, and Digging into Soil: A Garden Practicum for middle and high school students. We will discuss ideas for using these resources in conjunction with a youth garden program.

    A6 | Dow Gardens Growin' Gardeners Program Overview
    Melissa Eddy | Children's Garden Horticulturist | Dow Gardens | Midland, MI

    Come hear about the 2010 AHS Jane L Taylor Award winning Growin’ Gardener Program at Dow Gardens. The Growin’ Gardener Program runs for ten weeks during the summer and teaches families how to grow a vegetable garden. Families learn about a garden topic (weeds, pollinators, planning a garden, etc.) then have hands-on experience in their garden plot.  We will discuss how the program started and what has and hasn’t worked over the years.  A copy of the curriculum will be available for attendees.

    A7 | Eco-schoolyard: Effective design and fund raising assistance by university students
    Dr. Lolly Tai | Professor | Temple University | Jenkintown PA

    Temple University landscape architecture students assisted in the design and fundraising of an eco-schoolyard at Greenberg Elementary School. They developed design concepts for transforming the schoolyard from desert-like paved settings to one that reflects healthy, esthetic, and sustainable environments. This presentation summarizes the design process and collaboration that can serve as a model for other schools.

    B1 | Supporting SEL, ELL & Special Education in the School Garden
    Robyn Burns | Program Director | CitySprouts |  Cambridge, MA

    CitySprouts’ believes that the garden is particularly beneficial for students with high social emotional learning (SEL) needs, language learners, and special education students.  The garden provides a safe space for students to work on self-awareness, self-management, social relations, and decision making skills in a hands-on, creative setting.   The session presenter will share tangible models, techniques, activities and perspectives that attendees may use in their own work.

    B2 | Dig Art! Botanically-inspired art activities for all ages
    Rosemary Glos | Student | Cornell University Garden-Based Learning | Berkshire, NY

    Artistic garden activities offer many benefits, from stress reduction to opening neuropathways that encourage innovation.  Many educators are interested in leading art activities in the garden but don’t know where to begin. This workshop will introduce the free online Dig Art! Cultivating Creativity in the Garden curriculum and present several activities drawn from a course in horticultural art. Participants will create their own botanically inspired pieces to take home!

    B3 | Creating a Children's Garden that is of Your Place
    Dennis Meyer | Principal, Landscape Architect | MIG | Portico |  Seattle, WA
    Amy Mitchell | Landscape Architect | MIG | Berkeley, CA
    Kate Fermoile | Director of Interpretation and Exhibitions | Brooklyn Botanic Garden | Brooklyn, NY

    By considering and revealing the uniqueness of your particular place, your garden can reflect who you and your location and be embraced by your community.  In this workshop, participants will consider sites representative of varied ecological and geographical environments and propose play areas within those environments. In sharing a variety of ideas, we will weave together individual play elements into an integrated whole through the development of overarching storylines.

    B4 | Horticulture in a Can: NGSS-aligned lessons on plant science phenomena
    Dr. Mary Legoria | Science teacher | Westdale Heights Academic Magnet Elementary School | Baton Rouge, LA
    Dr. Ed Bush | Associate Professor | Louisiana State University AgCenter | Baton Rouge, LA
    Dr. KiKi Fontenot | Assistant Professor | Louisiana State University AgCenter | Baton Rouge, LA
    Dr. Pam  Blanchard | Associate Professor | LSU School of Education | Baton Rouge, LA

    Horticulture in a Can consists of everything needed to teach NGSS-aligned classroom lessons on plant science phenomena - all contained in a single paint can. Participants will rotate through demonstrations of three “cans” designed for teachers and one "can" for families to use at home. We'll brainstorm other suitable phenomena as well as discuss how this idea is adaptable for other out-of-classroom learning experiences. Door prizes will be awarded!

    B5 | Standards Aligned School Gardening
    Tim Villard | National Garden Manager |Big Green | Boulder, CO
    Sarah Pounders | Senior Education Specialist | KidsGardening | Burlington, VT
    Jim Rowell | Director of School Garden Programs | Grow Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh, PA

    A successful visit to the school garden is often contingent on having the resources to manage an entire classroom in the school garden. This workshop merges three focal points of school gardening: outdoor classroom management, gardening skills, and academic standards alignment.   Big Green, KidsGardening, and Grow Pittsburgh will share our take on outdoor classroom management with lots of lesson topics, hands-on activities, tools, and resources.

    B6 | Dig in with DUG: Connecting Community, Curriculum and Evaluation
    Mikhaela Mullins | Director of School Garden Programs | Denver Urban Gardens | Denver, CO
    Sara Gunderson | Youth Educator | Denver Urban Gardens | Denver, CO

    Join the Denver Urban Gardens (DUG) education team to learn ways to integrate the school garden into the classroom and broader community. Over the past two decades, DUG has established partnerships with five school districts to support multiple, ongoing school gardens and youth education programs. In this workshop we will discuss how DUG has been successful in integrating the school garden into the classroom, provide tips on how to engage students in the community and school garden, and highlight best practices for evaluation.

    B7 | Addressing Children's "Alternative Facts" aka Science Misconceptions
    Ana Maria Caballero | Children's Education Fellow | Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University | Boston, MA

    Basically, a misconception happens when something a child knows and believes does not match what is known to be scientifically correct.  Participants will discuss the nature of children's misconceptions and learn ways to probe children's thinking.  A variety of activities will be presented that can be incorporated into any outdoor education program that will challenge children's current thinking and help them revise their ideas.

    C1 | Nature Play and Playscapes: design, adventure, risky play, and fun
    Rusty Keeler | designer, author, speaker | EarthPlay | Ithaca, NY

    To create a soul connection with nature, children need opportunities to dig, play, wonder and discover. Can we design spaces that do this? Yes! This session will show you inspiring examples of natural play spaces that connect children to nature and gardens through self-directed play. We'll also look at how to tap your community's resources to build them and how to use "forest school" risk-benefit analysis models to help you allow children to play in a "free range" way.

    C2 | Citizen Science in the Garden
    Lindsay Glasner | Outreach Coordinator |Cornell Lab of Ornithology | Ithaca, NY

    Citizen science is a great hook for growing observation and inquiry skills and adds to the educational value of gardening. Whether monitoring birds, plants, insects, or weather, kids observe, explore, and engage with the world around them, asking their own questions and conducting original experiments. In addition to providing resources and free curricula, we’ll discuss challenges related to authentic scientific inquiry and citizen science in the garden setting.

    C3 | Growing STEM & Sustainable Garden Project-Based Learning
    Randy Seagraves | Curriculum Director | Junior Master Gardener Program | College Station, TX

    Junior Master Gardener (JMG) features proven plant-based resources to grow your STEM/STEAM initiatives and project-based learning. Participants will receive an overview of existing JMG curricula and a preview of the coming GROWING STEM curriculum.  Attendees will receive lesson examples and handouts. This session will also emphasize program sustainability, empowering teachers, and how to utilize volunteers to assist in program implementation and growth.

    C4 | Teaching Sustainability through the Lens of Outdoor Experiences
    Julie Taylor | Horticulture Coordinator | John G. Shedd Aquarium | Chicago, Il
    Donna Levy | Environmental Educator | Cornell Botanic Garden | Ithaca, NY

    This collaborative session explores the nuts and bolts of running teen programming and the outcomes and impacts on the participating teens.  While their approaches differ in scope and focus, both teen programs tackle gardening, as well as local and global sustainability topics. Participants will learn how to help teens develop an appreciation for the environment, obtain knowledge and skills to become environmental advocates, and make informed choices about higher education or employment in the fields of horticulture, agriculture, and environmental conservation.

    C5 | How to be a Cool Plantologist and Inspire Kids Toward Green Collar Careers
    Susan Yoder | Executive Director | Seed Your Future | Martinsville, IN

    College and university horticulture programs are shrinking, and horticulture firms, plant education programs and public gardens are challenged to fill their open positions.  To change this paradigm, the Seed Your Future (SYF) movement was born.  This session will present an overview of SYF research and share new resources available to garden educators to help introduce kids to the joy of plants and explore careers in horticulture.

    C6 | Design and Nature for Individuals with Autism: A Collaborative Case
    David Kamp | President | DIrtWorks | New York, NY
    Dr. Amy  Wagenfeld | Faculty | Western Michigan University | West Palm Beach, FL

    In addressing autism, building a connection with nature is essential—to help reduce stress, encourage social connections, and strengthen a sense of self and belonging.  This presentation, a case study of the programming, design, and construction of the Els for Autism Foundation’s sensory garden, will highlight the collaboration that was essential in its creation.

    C7 | Case Study:  Implementation and Use of an Outdoor Teaching Kitchen
    Susan England | Senior Associate | LandDesign | Alexandria, VA
    Rick Schneider | Principal | Studio Architects | Washington, DC

    Take the next step in outdoor gardening and education with this in-depth study of an outdoor teaching kitchen at an elementary school.  Participants will learn how the initial idea was formulated and how it gained funding. Handouts with specifics of the design and construction process will be reviewed including layout and material selection. Utilized for everything from student lessons to teacher training, ideas will be shared for ways to maximize a teaching kitchen’s use and potential.

    D1 | Learning Everyday Skills at a Not-So-Everyday Summer Camp

    Lynn Zocolo | Horticulture Educator | Mill Creek MetroParks | Youngstown, OH
    Cody Stoll | Naturalist Educator | Mill Creek MetroParks  | Youngstown, OH

    In a crowded market of outdoor educational summer camps, how can you make your camp stand out?  Join MetroParks educators as they discuss their popular camps programs that incorporate nature, gardening, and basic sciences to make summer discovery camps fun and full of adventure.  Participants will receive curriculum for the different camp themes as well as activity ideas.

    D2 | Building a Healthier School Environment Through Gardens
    Nate Bratko | Agent Associate, Project Leader/Nutrition Educator | University of Maryland Extension- Food Supplement Nutrition Education | Cambridge, MD
    LaTasha Coleman | Principal Agent Associate, Project Leader/Nutrition Educator | University of MD Extension- Food Supplement Nutrition Education | Gambrills, MD

    Could you imagine that your school garden could have an impact on the health and wellness of the entire school? Impact decisions around food at home? And support the local economy?  In this session, you will learn how to engage teachers, school staff, parents, and the community to promote wellness and farm to school through diverse modalities.

    D3 | Websites to Empower Teaching about Gardens, Food and the Environment
    Pam Hosimer | Nutrition Educator and Master Gardener | University of Maryland Extension | Damascus, MD

    Come discover incredible online resources that will generate lots of learning and enthusiasm with children in your school garden, farm to school program, or environmental lessons. Materials will appeal to both formal and informal educators and be useful in both standards based and extracurricular programs. We will discuss how to utilize this information to extend the learning experience and incorporate a diverse audience.  A comprehensive source list will be provided.

    D4 | Evaluation and Collaboration are essential in School Gardens
    Dr. Roxanne Zimmer | Master Farmer, college professor | Edible School Gardens of the East End | Glen Head, NY
    Caroline Kiang | Extension Educator| Cornell Extension | Aquebogue, NY

    Despite enthusiasm and educator support nationwide, school gardens struggle mightily for survival. Collaboration with a wide array of local and/or national sources is essential for school gardens to flourish. Evaluation of school gardens can inform the direction and scope of that collaboration.  Participants in this session will leave with evaluation strategies which aid in cultivating relationships with potential collaborators and funders.

    D5 | Changemakers- Fostering the Future of the Outdoors
    Lisa Reichenberger | Director of Environmental Education | Old Westbury Gardens | Old Westbury, NY

    Open the outdoors to the next generation of environmental professionals!  This session will explore the many ways that outdoor career exploration for middle school students can jump start a wealth of opportunities for their futures.  Hear how hands-on mentoring experience in environmental fields will set students up for success in both their professional and personal lives.  This lecture explains how to broaden student horizons by providing them with hands-on experience in the fields of horticulture, plant science, environmental education, and beyond.

    D6 | Garden Gadgets!
    Erik  Herman | Science Engagement Specialist | Free Science Workshop | Ithaca, NY
    Elizabeth Sparks | 4H Agent - Pima County Cooperative Extension | Tucson Village Farm | Tucson, AZ
    Kristin Herman | Middle School Teacher | Ithaca City School District | Ithaca, NY

    Are you looking for innovative ways to include science in your programming? Join us for this session where participants will learn a cornucopia of ways to integrate science and nature.  Participants will walk home with three activities that are easy to make and replicate. These can be used in your garden program or after-school program and are guaranteed to engage and excite children!

    D7 | How Does Our Garden Grow?: Sustainable Horticulture for Children
    Helena Nichols | Associate Director | Rodef Shalom Biblical Botanical Garden

    How do you take a well-established botanical garden, whose main focus has been on adult education and enrichment, and expand its educational and community reach to include and engage young children?  This session will examine these transitional efforts by the Rodef Shalom Biblical Garden in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania whose growing focus adds an additional dimension to the conversation: How do you take a garden populated almost entirely by non-native species and make it thrive through sustainable methods?

    E1 | Gardening the Native Way
    Bill Dawson | Growing to Green manager | Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Garden | Columbus, OH

    Many people who are interested in green living today are turning to Native American gardening techniques to learn how foods were grown in the past. Some of the techniques that they used long ago are still used successfully today. This session will investigate Native American agricultural practices, discuss the Sacred Circle and utilizing the Four Directions in design and planting strategy, and show ways in which Native Americans showed respect for the earth.

    E2 | Engineering Design in the Garden - It's for the Birds!
    Jennifer Fee | Manager of K-12 Programs | Cornell Lab of Ornithology | Ithaca, NY
    Lindsay  Glasner | Outreach Coordinator | Cornell Lab of Ornithology | Ithaca, NY

    Develop youth science and engineering practices in any garden or natural place with exciting, hands-on activities. Using birds as a springboard, inspire authentic questions and original scientific studies through fun and engaging activities like building a bird feeder from recyclables, designing nest boxes for specific species, thinking critically about adaptations, observing wild birds outdoors, and using citizen-science projects.

    E3 | Chickens; Feathered Ambassadors for Environmental Literacy
    Kate McLynn | Science Teacher/School Garden Coordinator | DC Public Schools | Washington, DC

    Incorporating animals into the school garden creates teachable, and huggable, moments! This session will present the benefits of engagement with animal communities, namely chickens. Learn how to get a program started, engage your community, care for chickens, and engage students. Attendees will create a chicken management plan/toolkit to organize and run an effective, engaging and successful chicken program.

    E4 | Connecting Field Trips to the Classroom
    Jackie Gallimore | Children's Education Coordinator | The Arboretum, State Botanical Garden of Kentucky |Lexington, KY 
    Meg Gravil | Graduate Assistant in Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education | University of Kentucky | Lexington, KY

    Botanical garden staff, program coordinators, and K-12 teachers will benefit from this session on how to integrate field trips into the classroom. Participate in a selection of Next Generation Science Standards-aligned field trip stations from The Arboretum, State Botanical Garden of Kentucky and learn about the results of a research collaboration between the University of Kentucky, a local elementary school and The Arboretum.

    E5 | Capturing Community Voices in the Children’s Garden Design Process
    Dr. Mark Miller | Outreach Education Manager | Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens | Columbus, OH
    Jenny Pope | Director of Community Outreach and Education | Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens | Columbus, OH

    In order to ensure that the wishes, needs and viewpoints of local residents would be represented in the design of the new Children’s Garden, Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens embarked on an ambitious process to elicit widespread input. Workshop participants will learn methods and techniques that can be used to comprehensively capture multiple voices, with a view to replicating the process in participants’ own communities. The data collected, as well as how it informed the design of the new garden, will be revealed through a visual tour.

    E6 | 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.

    E7 | Engaging in Habitat Mapping to Evaluate the Impact of Gardens
    Becca Rodomsky-Bish | Project Assistant | The Cornell Lab of Ornithology | Ithaca, NY

    The Habitat Network Citizen Science Project is an online mapping tool to promote wildlife habitat through sustainable landscaping practices. Participants will map an existing property, learn how the property is currently supporting biodiversity, and set goals for increasing impact. This data and information can be used to educate the community about the impact of gardens, provide data to conservation scientists, or help secure funding for landscape projects or development.

    F1 | Engaging youth in community through urban garden employment
    Alex Samoray | Americorps VISTA | Cornell Cooperative Extension Oneida County |Oriskany, NY
    Holly Wise | Consumer Horticulture Resource Educator | Cornell Cooperative Extension Oneida County | Oriskany, NY

    Join us to learn how to run a teen employment urban garden program with an emphasis on placemaking.  Placemaking refers to a collaborative process by which we can shape our public realm in order to maximize shared value, primarily by strengthening the connection between people and the places they inhabit.  Through this lens, teens learn to grow fruits and vegetables while fostering community through teach-back lessons at various community gardens and through produce donation initiatives.

    F2 | Why Food Literacy Education is vital to our future
    Dr. Antonia Demas |  President | Food Studies Institute | Trumansburg, NY

    This presentation will demonstrate how the health of the soil is related to human health and why we need to be teaching children food literacy.  We'll explore a hands-on, sensory-based food literacy curriculum, Food is Elementary, which, in field tests nationally and internationally, has resulted in positive behavior changes.  Food literacy can empower young people to prevent against developing diet-related diseases and protect the planet from environmental destruction.

    F3 | Building and Teaching Community Values in Gardens and Playscapes
    Susan England | Senior Associate | LandDesign | Alexandria, VA

    In times of near-constant change, community becomes increasingly important.  The physical environment can be a lasting way to illustrate community values. Spaces for children can be especially meaningful in this way.  Through national examples, we will examine a range of ways physical environments for children meaningfully illustrate the values of their communities.  Specific features will also be examined for their general contribution to play and education, giving participants concrete ideas for their own spaces.

    F4 | Connecting with Your Audience: The Art and Science of Interpretation
    Jennifer Laquet | Horticulture Interpretation Specialist | Missouri Botanical Garden | St. Louis, MO

    If we want those who interact with our gardens to care about plants and make greener choices, it is essential to build positive personal relationships between our audiences and our green spaces. These relationships can be achieved by various interpretive techniques, from educational signs to fully immersive experiences, such as helping to plant a garden. Discover many of the different ways that you can connect to and build lasting relationships with your audience and encourage them to learn about and do more with plants.

    F5 | Pest Detectives Use IPM: controlling pests in school gardens
    Dr. Chuck Talbott | Garden-Based Learning Coordinator | West Virginia University Extension Service| Winfield, WV

    Each school year, West Virginia University Extension agents train students from elementary schools to be “Pest Detectives” in their high tunnel gardens.  We introduce our “Pest Detectives” to the “good bug/bad bug concept” and inform them that over 98% of all bugs are beneficial; they either pollinate the plants, help control the bad bug population or don’t harm the plants at all.  Participants in this session will learn basic principles of IPM, be able to identify tell-tale signs of various pests and learn alternative methods to control them.

    F6 | Growing more than Veggies: The human side of urban farming
    Parker Filer | Instructional Specialist | Tucson Village Farm | Tucson, AZ
    Elizabeth Sparks | 4-H Extension Agent | Tucson Village Farm | Tucson, AZ

    Now in its eigth program year, Tucson Village Farm has cultivated an extensive network of parents, teachers, volunteers, current and former staff, and program alumni of all ages.  A long-standing concern has been how to keep the farm-ily connected to the farm and its mission in a meaningful, continual, and mutually rewarding way.  This session will focus on innovative techniques and practices that attendees can tailor to their own networks.  It will also address topics such as volunteer recruitment, training, amangement, satisfaction, and retention.

    F7 | Designing A Vegetable Garden: Where Do I Begin?
    Melissa Eddy | Children's Garden Horticulturist | Dow Gardens | Midland, MI

    Participants will learn vegetable gardening basics. The first part of this session will be about how to properly plan a garden that will be successful for years to come: choosing the location and selecting the right vegetables. Next, we will discuss techniques for planting and maintaining a vegetable garden. We’ll explore topics such as planting transplants and seeds, watering, mulching and pest control.

    G1 | School Garden for English Language Learners
    Wendy Parker | Garden Educator | Princeton Community Park Elementary School | Titusville, NJ

    The school garden education program proven effective in helping English as a Second Language (ESL) students better establish themselves in the school community.  In this session, we will discuss the different needs of the English language learner in the garden.  Participants will walk away with tips, tricks, and tools for engaging and encouraging English language learners in the garden setting.  

    G2 | A Healthy Dose of Nature: Taking Nature into Children's Hospitals
    Andrew Torlage | Program Coordinator | NC Botanical Garden |  Chapel Hill, NC
    Julie Yarnell | Program Associate | NC Botanical Garden | Chapel Hill, NC

    The North Carolina Botanical Garden’s Wonder Connection outreach program serves patients at UNC Children’s Hospital.  This workshop will demonstrate best practices for ways to provide nature and natural science programming for pediatric patients. Attendees will participate in three hands-on activities that are adapted for use with pediatric patients. Participants will also draft a plan for how to approach their local children’s hospital to begin this type of programming.

    G3 | More Please: Growing, Cooking, and Tasting with Young Gardeners
    Willa Pohlman | Director of Community Green Spaces and Trainings | City Blossoms | Washington, DC 
    Jessica Richards-Murray | Lead Educator and Partner Gardens Coordinator | City Blossoms | Washington, DC

    Learn from City Blossoms' nine 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.  Participants will discuss kid-friendly crops to grow and cook, useful tools for indoor and outdoor recipe making, tips on classroom management while cooking, and how to facilitate a positive eating experience with kids.

    G4 | Off the Wall: Applying Art Education Strategies to Garden Learning
    Kati Henderson | Education Program Assistant | Sarah P. Duke Gardens | Durham, NC
    Kavanah Anderson | Education Program Coordinator | Sarah P. Duke Gardens | Durham, NC

    Looking for ways to transform STEM into STEAM? Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) is an inquiry-based teaching tool commonly used in art museum education. If sensory observation, synthesizing information, encouraging creative and critical thinking, or making content relevant to students are goals of your programs, VTS can be useful to you, too! Attendees will leave with a simple guide to the VTS structure, examples of how it can be used in the garden, practice conducting VTS conversations, and ideas of how to start fitting VTS into your own setting.

    G5 | Playful Nature Explorers: Outdoor Preschool in the Garden
    Leigh MacDonald-Rizzo | Education Director | Ithaca Children's Garden | Ithaca, NY
    Mara NewRoots | Early Childhood Educator | Ithaca Children's Garden | Ithaca, NY

    With increased interest and buzz around forest preschools, how do gardens embrace this movement in their settings?   Join us as we travel through the seasons with Playful Nature Explorers, an outdoor preschool and summer camp for ages 2-6.  We'll walk you through a year with preschoolers in the garden including hands-on activities, guided explorations, loose parts, and play prompts.  Learn tips, tricks, and talking points to convince parents, administrators, and funders that outdoor preschools meet children's developmental needs.

    G6 | Cultivating Social-Emotional Wellness in Youth Programming
    Nigel Gannon | Extension Associate | NYS 4-H Youth Development | Ithaca, NY

    Social-emotional learning (SEL) and social-emotional (SE) skills are trendy topics in many fields including education, youth development, and popular media. Why all the hype? In this interactive workshop, we will conduct a brief overview of SEL and recent efforts to research and assess SE skill development, discuss the linkage of SEL and SEW (social-emotional wellness) and its potential value to relationships with youth in mentoring or program environments, and review practical applications to foster SE practices in youth programs.

    G7 | Starting and Sustaining Inspiring School Garden Projects
    Joshua Dolan | School and Community Garden Specialist | Finger Lakes Eat Smart NY | Ithaca, NY

    From the initial idea to the finished product, participants will learn the components of a successful school garden project including funding ideas, programming tips and tricks, and how to form a successful school garden committee. We will also sample garden-based curricula including Dig In!, Great Garden Detectives and Grow it, Try it, Like it. Participants will work together in small groups to map out plans for real and imagined garden programs using garden sustainability planning tools developed for use in real-world settings.

    Return to the top of the page