How we can help!
We believe that a successful learning environment consists of three interacting parts: Curriculum, Site, and Organizational Infrastructure. To this end we:
- Design programs and curricula that make best use of site attributes and that promote social and eco literacy as well as academic achievement across disciplines for all ages
- Build aesthetically pleasing and safe learning environments with multiple elements that support a wide range of curricular directions and learner interests
- Embed funding and staff support so that site and program needs are provided for through normal institutional operations
School Garden Support
In order to support schools and teachers wishing to take advantage of the many benefits outdoor learning provides, we've teamed up with the Dairy Creek Community Food Web and Pacific University to provide the three elements we believe are essential to a good school garden:
Professional development and community building for teachers using gardens
Equipment, supplies, and personpower for installing and maintaining the gardens themselves
A coordinator to manage and organize garden activities across schools.
Through courses and policies that promote civic engagement, Pacific University encourages faculty and students to participate in community activities. Many students have contributed to the development of school gardens in a variety of ways. Their efforts are a significant factor in our garden successes.
As described in this recent article in the FG NEwsTmes, Dairy Creek Community Food Web has been active in its pursuit of grants to help fund our shared interests with school gardens. With their help, we've been able to hire a School Garden Coordinator (Colleen Walker) to help manage professional development activities for teachers, and build and maintain gardens at schools. We will continue to advocate with the school district for a permanent funding source for this very important position but in the meantime, we appreciate the amazing work being done by our partners at DCCFW!
EdenAcres and Dairy Creek Community Food Web have teamed up to host our monthly Garden Educator Meetups. Each meeting provides professional development opportunities, guest speakers, and/or resource support for our community of teachers and volunteers dedicated to growing garden-based learning in our schools.
We've allocated significant funding towards designing, installing, and maintaining school gardens. Teachers can easily access these funds through our garden reimbursement forms.
Our School Garden Coordinator is focused on facilitating classroom access to school gardens. By delivering Common Core/NGSS/STEAM aligned garden-based curriculum, garden maintenance support, curriculum resources for educators, and after school club opportunities, our Garden Coordinator works to develop a rich relationship between each school and their garden.