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.”
Archive for the ‘Edible Gardens’ Category
Garden Conservancy Seminar at Los Angeles Arboretum:
Live Long and Landscape: Gardening for Health & Happiness
Gardening and healthy living naturally go hand in hand. What could be healthier than eating fresh, homegrown fruits, vegetables, and herbs? On Saturday, October 19, the Garden Conservancy together with the Los Angeles County Arboretum, will be sponsoring a day-long seminar with six speakers who will cover landscaping, edible gardens, outdoor feng shui, and much more. The speakers will share how and why gardening and other outdoor activity are terrific exercise. Gardens are also good for the soul, as peaceful retreats and places to re-energize and de-stress.
What: Garden Conservancy Seminar – lectures, lunch, book signings, and guided garden walks
When: Saturday, October 19, 2013
Where: Los Angeles Arboretum & Botanic Garden, 301 North Baldwin Avenue, Arcadia, CA 91007
Time: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Get an early start by joining a yoga class in the garden at 7:45 a.m.)
You may register online or by calling 845.424.6500. Registration is $80 for members and $90 general admission.
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.
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 email@example.com.
“Food insecurity can have wide-ranging detrimental consequences on the physical and mental health of adults (and) more vulnerable populations…Lack of access to a nutritious and adequate food supply has implications not only for the development of physical and mental disease, but also behaviors and social skills.” — Feeding America, U.S. hunger-relief charity
Food gardens are healing gardens
Guest post by Filiz Satir
Families with limited incomes often lack the means to put fresh, nutritious food on the table. In the “land of plenty” a stunning 1 in 6 adults, and 1 in 5 children suffer from poor nutrition and struggle with hunger.
In addition to food assistance programs, food banks and other hunger relief groups, American cities are witnessing a growth in urban agriculture and associated non-profits working to fight food insecurity. Programs that support urban and suburban food production are providing low-income families with the skills and tools to grow fresh, local and healthy food. One such group is Seattle’s Just Garden Project that builds home gardens for eligible families living 200 percent below the poverty line in King County, Washington.
“We are spreading the use of household gardens to help end hunger, improve day-to-day food security and decrease food-related health issues in lower income families,” says Stephanie Seliga, manager of Just Garden Project (JGP). Now in its third year, JGP builds 30 kitchen gardens a year for eligible low-income families and vulnerable groups. The recipients’ participation in the garden “build outs,” shifts their personal experience with food from one of being a consumer only to being a producer.
“From Motown to Growtown!” – Documentary ‘Urban Roots’ on farms, community gardens, and food justice in Detroit, MIThursday, July 28th, 2011
Last night I watched the excellent and inspiring documentary ‘Urban Roots‘ at the Horticultural Society of New York. It’s a film about urban farmers, gardeners, and food and community activists who are taking over the hundreds (thousands?) of acres of vacant lots in Detroit, MI and making them into productive landscapes that address ecological and economic problems at the same time – in other words, healing Detroit by healing and cultivating the earth. Or as one young woman said, “turning Motown into Growtown!” And it’s happening elsewhere, too. For example, at the Healing Landscapes Sustainability Symposium in Cleveland, OH this past February, I learned of several similar projects in the Cleveland area, and even in my own city of Beacon, NY, we have the Green Teen program, which “empowers urban youth to be effective community change-agents by immersing them in the local food system” and the CSA (community-supported agriculture) Common Ground Farm.
What impressed me about the movement in Detroit is individuals working at a grass-roots level (no pun intended…) to solve deep economic, social, and environmental problems for themselves instead of waiting for someone to give them a hand and do it for them. In other words, self-determination.
Some of the projects and places in the film: Brother Nature Produce, D-Town Farms, Field of Dreams (FOOD), Grown in Detroit, Eastern Market, Farnsworth Community Garden, Elmhurst, and Earthworks Urban Farm.
At the Therapeutic Landscapes Network, we focus on gardens and landscapes in the healthcare setting and on research and evidence-based design, because no other organization is doing this kind of work on an interdisciplinary level. But our mission is to serve as a “knowledge base and gathering space about healing gardens, restorative landscapes, and other green spaces that promote health and well-being.” That means any landscape, wild or designed, urban or suburban or rural, large or small, that facilitates health. And preferably the health of not just humans but animals and the planet as a whole.
For information on these broader topics, visit our website’s Other Healing Landscapes section. We’re still adding to this, but right now we have pages on community gardens, gardens in prisons, and memorial gardens. Input and suggestions are always welcome.
Thanks to the Horticultural Society of New York for screening the film, to Mark McInnis for making the film, and most of all, to the people of Detroit for their inspiring work. Keep on growing!