Archive for the ‘Children’s Gardens’ Category

“Ecoliteracy Under Our Feet” – Greening Cleveland Elementary School

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

Children and nature

For the last Therapeutic Landscapes Network Blog post of 2014, we want to share an inspiring story of one of many schools that that is “greening” its schoolyard. The six gardens and overall ecoliteracy program at Cleveland Elementary School in Oakland, CA were spurred by Mary Schriner, who interviewed for a position there. When they asked her why she wanted to work at Cleveland Elementary, she responded, “Because your school looks like a prison yard, and I’d like to change that.” And she has changed both the school and grounds, and the lives of those who learn and teach there. One of the first conversations with her students began with the question, “What is a weed?” The project has been a tremendous success. Says Schriner, “I’ve had many, many moments when I’ve almost wanted to cry because I can feel the community happening, not because of me, but because of the natural world that we’re trying to create conditions for at the school. There’s been so much magic around the garden that I just have a lot of gratitude.”

Click here to read the full article by The Center for Ecoliteracy‘s senior editor Michael Stone, “So Much Magic Around the Garden.”

essay_michael_stone_so_much_magic_garden

Nature School Conference: September 23-25, 2013

Sunday, September 22nd, 2013
Nature play in a schoolyard (Courtesy: ISGA)

Nature play in a schoolyard (Courtesy: ISGA)

Our sincere apologies for getting the word out about this conference this late. However, it’s an important one for the record, so I’m posting it anyway. If anyone is going, please report back!

Join Evergreen Brick Works and the International School Grounds Alliance for three days of inspiration and idea sharing with visionary leaders of the green school ground movement. The Nature School Conference takes place in Toronto, Ontario, September 23-25. Attendees are coming from as  far away as Japan, Norway, and Australia.

Some of this year’s breakout sessions include Food and Gardens in Schools, The Need for Beneficial Risk (in school- and play yards), and Cultural Considerations in School Ground Design. The International School Grounds Alliance (ISGA) is a global network of organizations and professionals working to enrich children’s learning and play by improving the way school grounds are designed and used. Open year-round, Evergreen Brick Works is a community environmental centre that inspires visitors to live, work, and play more sustainably.

Along with plenary speakers and inspiring breakout sessions, a pre-conference tour of three local educational spaces takes place Sunday, September 22. To learn more about the conference offerings, plenary speakers, and presenters, visit the Evergreen web site. For even more information, Amal Musa, Conference Coordinator at amusa@evergreen.ca  or 416-596-1495 ext.248.

 

Boston Children’s Hospital’s Prouty Garden under threat of demolition. Guest post by Clare Cooper Marcus

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013
Boston Children's Hospital Prouty Garden

The Prouty Garden at Boston Children’s Hospital has served as a tranquil green urban oasis since 1956

The Prouty Garden at Boston Children’s Hospital has, for generations of patients, family members, and staff, served as a much-loved retreat from the clinical atmosphere inside. The garden was created in 1956, sponsored by Mrs. Olive Prouty whose two children had died in the hospital. Now it is under threat of demolition as the hospital looks for space to expand on its very urban site.

A petition to save the garden has already garnered over 6,500 signatures, but they need more! Please sign and help spread the word. Newspaper articles and radio reports (see, for example, WBUR and The Boston Globe) have taken up the story to plead for the retention of this irreplaceable green oasis.

A Scientific American article last year called the Prouty Garden “one of the most successful hospital gardens in the country.” Though though constructed long before our research-based knowledge of the critical issues in hospital garden design – it is almost perfect as a restorative space in healthcare. (more…)

Nordic Adventure: Connecting Children with Nature

Friday, August 23rd, 2013

International Conference in Copenhagen and Malmö, September 2013

No matter the weather or the season, Nordic children can always be found playing outdoors. The upcoming conference, Nordic Adventure: Connecting Children with Nature, will feature keynote addresses and workshop presentations on the myriad opportunities for connecting children to nature  in Denmark, Sweden and Norway. The conference takes place September 10-13, 2013 in Copenhagen and Malmö. The registration deadline was August 20 (sorry, we’re a little behind on our blog posts) but if you act fast, you can probably squeeze in there.

Scandinavian nations have long since worked with adventure and nature playgrounds, school gardens and green school grounds, forest and outdoor preschools, education for sustainable development, and many other nature-based initiatives for children. The English-language conference will be a mixture of plenary sessions, presentations, site visits and social experiences.

For details and information on registration, contact the planning committee: nordicadventure2013@gmail.com, and visit the conference site.

Children & Youth Garden Symposium: Register by 7/23!

Friday, June 21st, 2013

July 11-13, 2013! Children and Youth Garden Symposium

The American Horticultural Society’s 2013 National Children & Youth Garden Symposium takes place at the Denver Botanic Gardens July 11-13, 2013, with pre-symposium garden tours on July 10 and 11.

In addition to a host of seminars, attendees will have the chance to participate in tours of the Denver Urban Gardens, The Gardens on Spring Creek (Fort Collins, CO) and Cheyenne Botanic Gardens (Cheyenne, WY). The event’s prime sponsor, The American Horticultural Society, has organized more than 50 workshops in six categories including Curriculum, Garden Design and Maintenance, Horticultural Science, Horticutural Therapy, Literature, and Policy.

Keynote speakers
The first of three keynote speakers is environmental psychologist Louise Chawla, Professor of Environmental Design at the University of Colorado.
As Associate Director of the Children, Youth and Environments Center for Community Engagement. Marcia Eames-Sheavly is a senior lecturer as well as children and youth program leader for Cornell Garden-Based Learning in Ithaca, NY.
David Sobel, Senior Faculty in the Education Department at Antioch University in Keene, NH. He is the author of seven books and more than 60 articles focused on children and nature for educators, parents, environmentalists and school administrators.

Pre-symposium garden tours July 10 and 11
Denver Urban Gardens supports one of the largest school garden networks in the United States. In this tour you will see three school gardens and learn how they foster community, health, and education. A youth-led farmer’s market at Fairview School Community Garden, a schoolyard farm at Denver Green School Community Garden supplying the cafeteria salad bar managed by Sprout City Farms, and integrated nutrition and science classes at Bradley International School’s Heather Regan Memorial Garden will be some of the dynamic aspects of youth gardening we will encounter.

The Gardens on Spring Creek and Cheyenne Botanic Gardens are public gardens that serve as models for children’s gardening due to their dedicated interest in making gardens a safe, enjoyable, and educational environment for children and youth. Staff at each location will give personalized tours while highlighting the history and development of these children’s gardens, as well as their hands-on methods of educational programming.

A sampler of symposium workshops

  • Benefits of School Gardens
  • Cross-Curricular Cooking
  • Slow Food in the Garden
  • Little Budget, Big Impact! Hands-on Lessons, Few Supplies
  • Sensory Gardens that Maximize Play
  • Learning Gardens: Making Outdoor Education Irresistible, Relevant and Resilient
  • Your Garden Toolkit: The Right Tools for a Children’s Garden
  • Lessons for Today’s Children’s Garden Educators
  • Discover Fun and Interesting Fruits and Veggies for the Garden
  • Teachable Landscapes: Using Gardens for Informal Science Learning

The symposium is also offering three Horticultural Therapy sessions:

  • Operating a Greenhouse with Special Needs Students
  • Horticultural Therapy and Junior Master Gardeners
  • Horticultural Therapy: Gardening with Pediatric Patients in a Hospital Environment

In 1993 the American Horticultural Society saw a need to reconnect children with nature, and  created the first Children & Youth Garden Symposium. If you wish to register the July 2013 conference, visit the registration page. Learn more details by visiting the overview page which offers a day-by-day schedule of workshops and activities. If you have specific queries, contact the American Horticultural Society,  703.768.5700 or webmaster@ahs.org.