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  • 2019 Field Experiences

    Make the most of your NCYGS experience

    2019 Field Experiences

    Welcome to Madison, Wisconsin!

    Uprooting Racism in the Food System: Food Justice in Garden-Based Education

    Wednesday, July 10 9am-1pm

    Racism and injustice are built into the DNA of the American food system. Fortunately, there is a vibrant network of farmers, activists, and community leaders working hard to build a just and sustainable food system. Join facilitator Amani Olugbala, a Community Educator at Soul Fire Farm with over 15 years of experience in youth education and community outreach for this heart-centered and action-oriented workshop. Participants will develop a common understanding of “food justice” and the specific injustices that afford resources and power to certain groups in the food system, while denying others.  We will unpack our own privilege and leverage points to take action toward food justice in garden education and our broader lives.  We will explore the successful strategies used by frontlines communities to dismantle inequity, and discuss how we can uplift and augment these efforts as educators across the county.  Attendees will leave the workshop with clear personal and collective/organizational moves to advance food justice. This workshop will be hosted in partnership with Community GroundWorks and Whole Kids Foundation.  Lunch is included. (Additional registration required.) 


    Ice Cream Social at Allen Centennial Garden

    Wednesday, July 10 4-6pm

    Meet and network with fellow NCYGS attendees before the main event kicks off. Join us for ice cream and ice breakers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Allen Centennial Garden, a short walk from the Pyle Center. Allen Centennial is the artful living laboratory and public botanical garden of the Horticulture Department and serves as an outdoor classroom for UW-Madison students and the surrounding communities, providing meaningful learning opportunities for visitors of all ages. (Advanced sign-up requested.)

    School Garden Support Organizations Dinner

    Wednesday, July 10 5:30-8:30pm

    At no other time in the school garden movement have there been so many support organizations for school garden development. Across the nation, foundations, nonprofit, school district, state, and university programs are working to institutionalize school gardens in their regions. Join school garden support organizations from around the country to discuss strategies for building and maintaining multiple gardens, creating sustainable funding streams, program assessment and evaluation, school integration, and training school garden educators. This dinner is hosted by the School Garden Support Organization Network, a professional network comprised of organizations and individuals that support multiple school garden programs at a regional, school district, or state level. All are welcome! (Additional registration required.)

    School and Youth Garden Tour

    Thursday, July 11 2-5pm

    Back by popular demand for NCYGS 2019, our school and youth garden tour will include stops at several of Madison’s exemplary sites. Numerous gardens and outdoor learning spaces including a student-constructed greenhouse enable Spring Harbor Middle School students to conduct research, monitor the environment and observe the ecological interactions that occur between plants, soil, weather, and animals.  Badger Rock Middle is a public charter school with an interdisciplinary, project based learning program focused on environmental sustainability.  It functions as the core of a unique neighborhood collaborative. Throughout its 20+ years of existence, the Lapham Elementary School Garden has been awarded numerous grants and is sustained by strong relationships with committed people in and beyond the school’s community. The Goodman Youth Farm actively engages a diverse population of students from schools and community centers throughout the city in hands-on, farm-based education. The Youth Farm is a dynamic outdoor classroom with vegetable gardens, fruit trees, bee hives, an outdoor kitchen, and more.  Nathan Larson of Community GroundWorks and Joe Muellenberg of the Dane County Extension Service will be leading groups on this tour. (Limited space; advanced sign-up required.)

    Madison Children's Museum Tour

    Thursday, July 11 2-5pm

    The award-winning Madison Children’s Museum takes play very seriously by engaging, challenging, and inspiring every visitor who comes through its doors! Environmental Education Manager Cheryl DeWelt will lead a tour focused on the museum’s green spaces and commitment to sustainability.  Visit the spectacular Rooftop Ramble which engages young people with the natural world through urban ecology, weather, food systems, sustainability, the sky, solar energy, and wildlife.  The Urb Garden is a three-season wonderland for the museum’s youngest visitors. Little ones can learn about sustainability by observing aquaponics in the tilapia tank, watching worms turn food waste into rich compost, and planting in a custom greenhouse-treehouse. (Limited space; advanced sign-up required.)

    Lakeshore Nature Preserve Volunteer Activity

    Thursday, July 11 2-5pm

    The Lakeshore Nature Preserve is a 300-acre natural area situated on the south shore of Lake Mendota on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. The beauty of the UW-Madison campus is renowned world-wide. Much of what makes the university so distinctive is its relationship to Lake Mendota, which means that the Lakeshore Nature Preserve, as the physical connection between the lake and campus, is responsible for preserving some of the most celebrated features of the campus. Volunteers will help conserve and restore portions of the Lakeshore Nature Preserve by collecting seed from a restored prairie or removing invasive plants in one of the Preserve’s woodlands. (Limited space; advanced sign-up required.)

    UW-Madison Botany Facilities Tour

    Thursday, July 11 2-5pm

    The Botany Greenhouse has 8,000 square feet of growth space and the Botany Garden has 1.3 acres of land and holds the Department of Botany’s extensive collection of more than 1,500 unique species of plants and 210 plant families. Come and visit each of the eight greenhouse rooms that take you through a journey of the tropics, desert, bog, and fern forest. This collection of aquatics, succulents, bryophytes, ferns, orchids, herbs, and woody plants are used for teaching general botany, systematics, taxonomy, plant ecology, and plant anatomy. The greenhouse and garden also provide a space for the students and faculty to carry out research on a diverse array of species with extensive morphological variation. (Limited space; advanced sign-up required.)

    Troy Kids' Garden Reception

    Friday, July 12 4:30-6:30pm

    The Troy Kids' Gardening Program provides gardening, arts, nutrition, and environmental education to over 1,000 young people from the Madison area annually. Children from area community centers and schools plant and maintain garden beds, participate in cooking and arts activities, and use this natural classroom to expand upon the science, ecology and math lessons learned in school. Community GroundWorks staff will be on hand to give tours and share their experiences in helping youth develop a connection with nature that is often difficult to establish in an urban setting. Wander the full 26-acres of open space that include Madison’s first urban farm, 300 community garden plots, and restored natural habitat and demonstration plantings. Reception will include light food and drinks. (Additional registration required.)


    Garden Tour and Reception at Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin

    Saturday, July 13 1-6pm

    The Garden Tour is dedicated to the gardens and natural landscape across Frank Lloyd Wright’s 800-acre Taliesin estate near Spring Green, Wisconsin. These incomparable gardens offer a glimpse into the master architect’s profound connection to nature and provide a spectacular backdrop to Wright’s world-class architecture and the stunning Driftless Area in southwestern Wisconsin. A guided, leisurely walk through the gardens that accompany the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright’s home estate will focus on inspiration from nature, horticulture practices, and the history of the landscape, ending with refreshments on Wright’s terrace. (Additional registration required.)